Cremation Tree Pod: How It Actually Works, Funeral Info, Locations, Costs

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Eco-Friendly Natural Products | October 19, 2022

Couple sitting on the ground next to a tree pod burial tree wondering how organic pod burial works for cremation tree pod burial.

If you are environmentally conscious, you have probably heard of cremation tree pod burials. Organic burial pods for funerals are eco-friendly alternatives to traditional burials that save you money and are also great for the environment.

If you want to know everything about cremation tree pod burials, this guide is for you.

Read on for everything you need to know about cremation tree pods, including costs, location, and legality.

What Is a Cremation Tree Pod Burial?

A cremation tree pod burial involves wrapping human remains in natural fiber cloth and storing them within an eco-friendly pod. The pod is then buried, and a tree is planted above it. As the body decays, it releases microbes and nutrients, which feed the tree.4

A cremation tree pod burial reduces waste while creating a life where there is none. It is one of the greatest eco-friendly concepts as it takes something dingy and transforms it into something beautiful.

How Much Does a Cremation Tree Pod Burial Cost?

A tree pod burial can cost between $99 and $330. However, this price range does not include the cost of a new sapling, which can cost $55 or more, depending on your chosen tree.

Also, this price range does not accurately depict the amount you will be spending on the funeral since cremation can cost between $1,000 and $4,000, depending on the type of cremation.

Overall, you will pay between $1,100 and $4,500 for all the preparations and materials. Initially, this may seem costly; however, compared to the literal costs and environmental impacts of funerals, it is quite reasonable.

How Much Do Organic Burial Pods Cost for Humans?

There are many different cocoon tree pod burial cost options from which you can choose, depending on your budget. Below are three of the most prominent organic burial pods and their prices.

  • Bios Urn

This pod is built using biodegradable materials. It has two common sizes: pet-sized and standard, which are $99 and $140, respectively. This organic burial pod does not come with a sapling, so you must buy one out-of-pocket.

  • The Living Urn

This organic burial pod is made from recycled plant matter. It is produced without chemicals, machinery, or glue. This organic burial pod comes with a sapling, which you have to pay more for, but it is currently priced at $129.

  • Capsula Mundi

This burial pod has two colors: sand and white. It is built with biodegradable products from the United States and does not come with a sapling, which means you have to purchase one yourself. You can get the white and sand Capsula Mundi at $330.12

Does an Organic Burial Pod Cost the Same as a Cocoon Tree Pod Burial?

There is no definitive price tag for cocoon tree pod burials as this type of burial is still new and being researched. However, the creators of the Capsula Mundi state that cocoon tree pod burials will cost more than organic burial pods as they are 100% biodegradable and more time-intensive products.1

Photo of a small cremation tree pod displayed in an exhibit.
Cocoon tree pods can hold a human body without the body having to undergo cremation. Thus, they offer a more environmentally friendly burial option than organic burial pods.

What Are the Steps Involved in Being Buried in a Tree?

The steps involved in cremation tree pod burial are simple:

  1. After the body is cremated, it is placed within a burial pod.
  2. The burial pod is reassembled with essential nutrients.
  3. The burial pod is then planted in the ground, and a tree is planted above it.
  4. As the burial pod degrades, the ashes mix with the soil and become a great source of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
  5. Eventually, the pod will be dispersed throughout the soil, leaving no waste behind.

What Are Some Tree Pod Burial Locations?

There are two cremation tree pod locations where you can bury a loved one: private property or the cemetery.

In most states, you can bury a loved one as a cremation tree pod on private property. Home burials are legal in the US, except in Indiana, California, and Washington.

In some states, you cannot have a home burial unless you work with a funeral director, whereas in others, there are no restrictions on home burial.

You can bury a loved one as a cremation tree pod in some cemeteries. Traditionally, cemeteries only allowed burials with caskets and headstones. Now, more and more cemeteries are allowing natural burials.

If there is a cemetery nearby, contact the director and ask whether they allow natural burials.

The Living Urn Tree Options for Loved Ones

The living urn offers over forty shrub and tree types. Below are three of the most popular tree options:

Weeping Willow Tree Urn

The Weeping Willow Tree Urn is a dramatic but elegant tree.8 Its long branches grow towards the ground, flowing into a lush round canopy. Its leaves are white and silver, but they turn yellow in autumn.

White Dogwood Tree Urn

The White Dogwood Tree is a stunning landscape tree. It shows beautiful white blossoms in the Spring and colorful purple-red foliage in the Fall.

Sugar Maple Tree Urn

The Sugar Maple Tree is a staple in many states. It is the state tree of Wisconsin, Vermont, Western Virginia, and New York and displays vibrant colors of red, yellow, and orange in the Fall.

Guide to Planting a Memorial Tree With Ashes

Before planting a memorial tree with ashes, there are a few things you must do:

  • Choose a Tree

You must choose the type of tree you want to plant. Before choosing a tree, consider the region you want to plant it in, how tall it grows when it matures, and the tree spread.

  • Find Your Hardiness Zone

After choosing a tree, you need to consider the hardiness zone in which you plan on planting the tree. The hardiness zone will help you determine which trees are more likely to thrive in your desired location.

  • Choose a Tree With a Symbolic Meaning

If your deceased loved a particular tree, you might want to choose it. If the deceased took no liking to a particular tree, here are some popular memorial trees and what they symbolize:

TreeMeaning
CedarEternity
HazelnutWisdom
Weeping WillowContinuity, Hope
LilacRenewal, Rebirth
PecanAbundance, Wealth
Maple TreeFortitude, Endurance
Leland CypressDeath and Immortality
CherryRebirth, Reincarnation
AppleSacred Symbol of Love
Oak TreeCourage, Sturdiness, Strength
Magnolia TreePerseverance, Majestic Beauty
DogwoodRebirth, Resurrection of Jesus
  • Choose the Best Area To Plant Your Tree With Ashes

Most individuals who plant trees in memory of their loved ones choose an area in their front or backyards where they can enjoy watching the tree grow. Choose an area where you can watch the tree grow and ensure that other trees or plants do not choke it as it grows.

  • Plant Your Tree

Once you have chosen a tree, found your hardiness zone, and chosen an area to plant the tree, it is time to bury the ashes and plant the tree above the ashes.

Tree Urn for Pets (Turning Your Pet’s Ashes Into a Tree)

Many individuals know that cremation tree pod burials are for humans. However, some of these individuals do not know that pet cremation exists and that they can turn their pets’ ashes into trees.10

Screenshot of Department of Revenue Washington State website page about pet cremation services and sales of urns with yellow arrows pointing to the reseller permits.
When a pet passes away, finding a compassionate and respectful way to honor them can be hard. A tree urn for pets is one of the best ways to remember your pets when they cross the rainbow bridge.

Tree urns for pets come in different customized sayings, engravings, and paw prints. There are also indoor tree urns for pets, such as patio urns, and outdoor tree urns, which you can grow outside as a beautiful reminder of your four-legged friend.

Is the Blooming Bio Urn the Best Tree Urn for Ashes?

The Blooming Bio Urn is one of the best tree urns for ashes. The Blooming Bio Urn is a biodegradable memorial urn handcrafted using traditional paper-making techniques.

Photo of a blue and white blooming bio urn places on a native mat.

It is made from recycled materials, and each Blooming Bio Urn comes with an adornment that you can plant and watch as it grows into a wildflower memorial.

There are three adornment options from which you can choose when you opt for the Blooming Bio Urn: BEA-SHELL, BEA-HEART, and BEA-CROSS. When you unfold the Blooming Bio Urn, you can read the significant facts about your loved one’s life.

What Are the Pros of a Biodegradable Urn Tree?

Some benefits you stand to enjoy if you settle for a biodegradable urn for your loved one include the following;

Travel Friendly

Some situations may require you to travel with your loved one’s cremated remains. Light, secure, and compact, a biodegradable urn tree is easy to carry.

More Memorable

You can get a biodegradable urn tree in different colors and designs. Biodegradable urn trees come in different materials, such as unfired clay, gelatin, bamboo, and paper. With so many options available, you can give your loved one a fitting sendoff.

Easier To Scatter Ashes

Seeing ashes scatter is an emotional experience for most people. With a biodegradable urn tree, the ashes end up in the ground without such an emotional display, making the process gentler for everyone attending the burial.

Bio Urn Instructions: How To Make a DIY Biodegradable Urn

If you plan to display, scatter, or bury ashes using a biodegradable urn, you can do so by creating the urn yourself. Creating the urn yourself is also an excellent option if you have a particular design in mind that is difficult to replicate.

Photo of a carton box which is used as an urn and is found to be environment-friendly due to it’s biodegradable materials.

Below are three DIY biodegradable products that can help you make a biodegradable urn that best represents your loved one:

Water Soluble Bags

If your family and friends plan to scatter your deceased loved one’s remains into the lake or ocean, water-soluble bags are a great DIY option.9 Water soluble bags are available in two colors: clear and blue. Thus, they might not be as visually appealing as you would like.

However, you can make the bags prettier by decorating them with shells, flowers, or gold or silver chains.

Paper Mache

This product is not strictly reserved for children’s art projects. You can create a unique biodegradable paper mache urn, which you can display in your home for as long as you want or later use to scatter ashes.

A great benefit of paper mache urns is they degrade into water and earth. You can choose the sea or land as your loved one’s resting place.

Brown Paper Bag

You can use a biodegradable bag to hold your loved one’s cremated remains. Using a biodegradable bag is ideal if you have many friends and family members who want a reminder of your deceased one.

Divide the ashes between the bags. You can either scatter the ashes or plant them together during a funeral service.

Funeral Pods Tree Burial for Your Loved One

The most popular processes used to inter deceased loved ones, i.e., casket burials, embalming, and cremation, cause serious environmental harm.

The death industry wastes water and land on memorial cemeteries, exposes employees to hazardous waste, and releases toxic chemicals into the environment.2

As an industry that inters the deceased, it affects the physical environment and natural resources.

Fortunately, independent developers have proposed environmentally friendly ways to bury and honor the dead, one of which is cremation tree pod burial.

A cremation tree pod burial is an innovative burial method where the ashes of a cremated body are placed within an urn,11 buried in the ground, and a tree is planted on top of the urn. As the urn decomposes, it releases the ashes into the ground, which helps the tree grow.

A photo of a huge white egg placed under tree to be planted as a cremation tree pod.

If you want to avoid many of the environmental consequences of the funeral industry, you should consider cremation tree pod burial. Developers have taken the time to review and perfect this burial method, rendering it effective and kind to the environment.

With a cremation tree pod burial, you can bury your loved one in the most eco-friendly way and remain with a tree that will remind you of their well-lived life each time you look out into your backyard.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cremation Tree Pod

What Is a Cremation Tree Pod?

A cremation tree pod is an egg-shaped, eco-friendly, and fully biodegradable casket that replaces cemeteries with lifeless gray tombstones with prolific living trees.

What Is a Tree Pod Funeral?

A tree pod funeral is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional funeral services. Generally, the main considerations with eco-friendly funerals are carbon footprint reduction and earth preservation.3

How Much Does a Tree Burial Pod Cost?

Tree burial pods cost between $400 and $500. Remember, this cost does not include the burial process or additional funeral services. Generally, a tree pod burial costs between $1,000 and $2,000.

Are Burial Pods Legal in the US?

Burial pods are legal in the US; however, different states have different laws for natural burials.7 Before burying your loved one on private land, it would be best to consult local zoning laws, as this will help you determine whether or not you can plant a burial pod on private land. In some states, a funeral director must be present throughout the burial process.

Can I Plant a Cremation Pod Indoors?

Yes, you can plant a cremation tree pod indoors. There are indoor versions of cremation tree pods with houseplant options and bonsai options.

How Can I Check on Tree Pod Burial Near Me?

The easiest way to find a tree pod burial near me is to look for online resources. One helpful resource is the Green Burial Council. There you can find certified funerary product sellers, funeral professionals, and cemetery stewards committed to creating sustainable after-death options.

What Is a Cremation Tree Cemetery?

A cremation tree cemetery is a burial ground that cares for the dead with little to no environmental impact.5 This means that only biodegradable and non-toxic materials such as urns, shrouds, and eco-friendly caskets are used to bury the dead.

What Is the Importance of a Cremation Tree Kit?

A cremation tree kit is important because you do not have to buy a casket from a funeral home. You can assemble the cremation tree kit in less than thirty minutes using only a hammer. With all-wood construction and no metal, the cremation tree kit is perfect for cremation or green burial.

How Long Do Ashes Take To Decompose in a Bio Urn Cemetery?

Depending on moisture present, oxygen availability, and soil type, ashes can take up to two years to fully decompose.6

How Is Becoming a Tree After Death Symbolic?

Becoming a tree after death is symbolic as it brings new life that continues to grow and represents a deceased loved one peacefully. If your deceased loved one was eco-friendly, a cremation tree pod burial is a great way to bury your deceased loved one while being kind to the environment.


References

1Is This Innovative Cocoon the Key to Reforestation in Tough Conditions? (2020, July 8). World Economic Forum. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from <https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/07/tree-cocoons-reforestation-harsh-climates/>

2Environmental Impact of Funerals. Life Cycle Assessments of Activities After Life. (2011). Semantic Scholar. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from <https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Environmental-impact-of-Funerals.-Life-cycle-of-Keijzer/8823402684cc24465647742438df6fe4997a1aa4>

3Green Burial, An Environmentally Friendly Choice. (2022). Funeral Consumers Alliance. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from <https://funerals.org/?consumers=green-burial>

4Ashes to Ashes and Into Trees. (2020, January 5). Sierra. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from <https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/ashes-ashes-and-trees>

5Weebly. (2022). The Case for Green Burial. Green Burial Council. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from <https://www.greenburialcouncil.org/case_green_burial_home_funeral.html>

6The Science Behind Green and Conventional Burial. (2022). Green Burial Council. Retrieved September 5, 2022, from <https://www.greenburialcouncil.org/uploads/1/2/4/2/124231485/the_science_behind_green_burial_7.22.pdf>

7Kenyon. (2022). About Green Burial. Kokosing Nature Preserve. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from <https://www.kenyon.edu/kokosing-nature-preserve/about-green-burial/>

8MediaWiki. (2022, April 28). Salix babylonica. Wikipedia. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salix_babylonica>

9The Pennsylvania State University. (2022). LCA of Degradable Plastic Bags. CiteSeerX. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from <https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.522.7858&rep=rep1&type=pdf>

10Pet Cremation Services and Sales of Urns, Plaques, etc. (2022). Department of Revenue. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from <https://dor.wa.gov/forms-publications/publications-subject/tax-topics/pet-cremation-services-and-sales-urns-plaques-etc>

11United States Government. (2008, April 5). Can I Cremate My Own Leg? National Library of Medicine. Retrieved September 12, 2022, from <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2287229/>

12University of Arkansas. (2017, September 21). Journalism Student Works. [email protected] Retrieved September 12, 2022, from <https://scholarworks.uark.edu/jourstuwo/1/>