Tree reforestation project with tree saplings

While it is extremely difficult to place an exact number of how many trees the earth loses per year, it is in the order of many millions to some say even a billion trees. No one debates the importance of trees and the need to keep planting them. The benefits of planting are well documented: climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, air quality improvement, soil conservation and water management, and aesthetic and recreation values.

In our business of planting memorialcelebration, and pet loss trees in the United States and around the globe, The Gifted Tree gets asked quite often, where is the best place to plant a tree? There is no right answer to this question as, unfortunately, so many areas are in desperate need of new trees. That is why we offer over 80 locations worldwide for you to select for your tree planting. No part of the globe is spared from the need for more trees, although different areas need it for different reasons because tree loss has numerous culprits.

Tree planting reforestation landscape

Best Place To Plant a Tree

Forest fires receive a lot of media attention, making us aware of their devastation. This has been the case more recently as climate change has played havoc with the environment and created conditions conducive to these fires. Fires in the western part of the United States has created urgent needs for reforestation in California and other western states. Similarly, forest fires have ravaged parts of Canada, western Europe, and Australia. Fires in the Amazon rain forest have also received a lot of attention although many of those are started by humans as a result of the need to clear land for agricultural pursuits. This is also the case in Africa where clearcutting takes place to open land for animal grazing as well as to provide firewood just so families can cook meals and survive.

The Gifted Tree also has projects to replace trees due to clearcutting from mining operations, (Appalachian Forest) to reforesting from the effects of the world wars (Italy) and replacing areas that lost trees from disease (parts of Africa). Finally, The Gifted Tree is starting to plant in urban projects (New York, New Jersey, and Illinois) which provides benefits from trees for a variety of different reasons.

Urban forest projects are critical for replacing the tree canopy in these areas that have seen a large tree canopy decrease due to factors such as urban growth sprawl, disease, and climate change issues not to mention being trampled by community members. Furthermore, with the effects of warmer temps and more frequent and severe storms, these urban tree projects are more critical as the trees provide shade, lower ambient temperatures, absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. These benefits are critical  in improving life for those living in these urban areas and whose lives disproportionally suffer from income inequality.

Our advice in determining which location to plant, is to pick a place that has meaning for the person you are honoring. Where did they live or where did they like to visit will make that location very meaningful and special. Another possible factor to consider is family heritage. For instance, does the family you are honoring have Irish heritage? If so, consider our planting project in Ireland. If that person is of Indian descent, consider planting the tree in India which will be very meaningful to the family. Other of our international planting locations can play a similar role.

Best Species of Tree To Plant

A related question we receive besides where is the best place to plant the tree is what type of tree should we plant? Please understand that you and we can’t dictate the type of tree species to be planted in a particular planting project. That is determined by our expert non-profit tree planting partners who will make their determination based on the location and what tree will be a best fit for long-term survivability. Factors that are considered include selecting species that are appropriate for the planting site, types that are indigenous to the area, as well as compatible with each other. Other factors considered are soil type, moisture levels, sunlight exposure, and potential interactions between species. One note of interest, and one that has changed since I first started planting trees, is the planting project use to be all one species of tree as the science thought that was best for the project. That thinking has changed.

Now when I go to plant trees in projects, I arrive at the site and there are groupings of 5-6 different species for us to plant. The scientific thought is that a forest is a community, and a diverse community seems to thrive better than a homogeneous community. Scientists are still studying this phenomenon and tweaking their approach, but by planting a range of species that are native and well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions, you increase the chances of overall project success. Some species may be better adapted to drought, while others thrive in wetter conditions. This diversity improves the project’s resilience to changing environmental conditions. And finally, maintaining genetic diversity within tree populations is essential for their long-term health and adaptability. Planting multiple species helps preserve genetic diversity and thus reduces the risk of inbreeding within populations which can have an adverse effect.

Oak tree saplings ready to be planted

In Conclusion

In conclusion, The Gifted Tree will plant the species of tree best suited for the area where you select to plant your memorial or celebration tree. In determining where to plant, use the advice mentioned above realizing we are incorporating best practices to mitigate the risks and minimize the impact of wildfires, disease and climate change  on our cherished landscapes and communities. But if you are still struggling, my advice is don’t over think it. The world needs trees everywhere. Just remember the old Chinese proverb: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. So just plant!

 

 

One of the hardest things in life is reaching out to someone who has just lost a loved one. A lot of us want to avoid those in that situation and look the other way. Either we don’t know what to say, how to say it, or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. While it is tempting to ignore the situation, sending a sympathy card or reaching out with a sympathy letter is probably the best thing you can do for that person.  It can go a long way in helping a grieving individual or family get through a difficult time. Your kind words can bring a moment of comfort during a difficult time, and including a planting of a memorial gift tree in remembrance is a gesture that will not only leave a lasting impact, but is also good for the earth, bringing life full circle.

My suggestion is always find time to reach out to that person or family with a personal note as opposed to email or text. Whether you live close to the person or far away, whether you knew the person they lost well or not at all, take the time to connect. It can actually be preferable to share your sympathies in a card as opposed to bringing it up to the person the next time you see them. It  can make it easier when you do see that person as they will know that you have already reached out and it will make that experience less awkward.

I can’t stress enough about sending a tangible expression of sympathy. It won’t sit there “not opened” in an email box, or worse yet, get lost in a spam filter. It also gives the recipient more control over when it is read. Furthermore, a sympathy note can be read over and experienced in the privacy of one’s home.

 

 

Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be in flowery language. Remember that you are not trying to fix anything. The recipient just wants to know you are thinking of them and feeling for them during a difficult time. When struggling to find just the right words, The Gifted Tree provides some guidance and heartfelt samples so that your voice and sentiments shine through. The Gifted Tree also has a range of presentation options that will really show the recipient that you care. A beautiful forest scene note card enclosure is also available allowing you to express additional thoughts that you don’t want to include on the tree certificate.

Finally, it is never too late to connect and plant a tree in memory of a loved one. Many people find that they are surrounded by love in the days surrounding their loss but find themselves grieving and feeling very alone weeks and months down the road when everyone else seems to have forgotten. Receiving a memorial gift tree a few months later, or even on the first anniversary of a death, can go a long way toward helping a grieving person feel remembered and supported, and letting them know you care.

 

Yours Treely,
Doug and Laura

Planting memorial Trees in the forest

Planting a memorial tree can be a beautiful and eco-friendly way (more on that later) to create a lasting tribute that honors the memory of a cherished individual. Here at The Gifted Tree, we have been planting hundreds of thousands of memorial and celebration trees for over a decade, and currently plant these gift trees in 80 locations around the world, but we still get the question, how does this work?

How Does Planting a Memorial Tree Work?

A memorial (or celebration) gift tree is a sapling tree that will be planted in the forest location of your choosing by one of our trusted nonprofit planting partners. It is important to remember that a physical tree is not delivered to the family, instead you select one of our beautiful, unique, and hand-crafted tribute cards that we send to the family announcing the memorial tree planting. Each tribute contains a tree planting certificate that is personalized and customized by you expressing your feelings, showing you care.

The Gifted Tree makes it easy to plant a memorial or celebration tree.

1. You will choose the tribute design, choosing from a handmade paper card, pop-up card, or framed options, to name a few. Then you will choose the number of trees to plant and select a planting location from over 80 locations in U.S. National Forests and around the world.

2. On the order form you will personalize the tree planting certificate and let us know who to mail it to. Don’t stress if you don’t know what to write. We have lots of heartfelt suggestions including those specifically for pet memorials. (Yes, you can plant a memorial tree in memory of a pet.)

The Gifted Tree original artwork tree planting certificate in a wood frame

Wood Frame Option

 

3. The Gifted Tree will hand create the tribute card (no automatic computer-generated certificates) and mail it to wherever you tell us. Our non-profit tree planting partners will plant your tree and look after it. If desired, we provide info on the planting project and a way to virtually view the general area of the tree planting.

All of this can be accomplished at a surprisingly reasonable price, and while planting a memorial tree in memory of a loved one, friend, colleague and even pets is a meaningful and positive way to remember and honor their life, for the reasons mentioned below, it is also a good idea for the earth as well.

Memorial Trees getting ready to be planted

Benefits of Planting a Memorial Tree

Symbol of Growth and Life: A tree symbolizes growth, strength, and life. Planting a memorial tree can be a powerful representation of the enduring legacy of your loved one.

Connection with Nature: Trees are an integral part of nature and planting one can create a lasting connection between your loved one and the natural world. It provides a serene and peaceful place for remembrance.

Sustainable Legacy: Trees contribute to the environment by producing oxygen, reducing carbon dioxide, and supporting biodiversity. Planting a tree as a memorial is a sustainable way to leave a positive impact on the planet in honor of your loved one.

Seasonal Changes: Just as seasons change, a memorial tree experiences growth and transformation. Knowing that the tree changes with the season can be a comforting and symbolic way to reflect on the passage of time and the enduring nature of memories.

Community Involvement: In some cases, planting a memorial tree can involve the community. Groups of people from the community may join together to participate in the planting, fostering a sense of unity and shared remembrance and benefits that the tree provides.

Living Tribute: Unlike traditional memorials, a tree is a living tribute that continues to grow and evolve. It provides a dynamic and evolving representation of the enduring impact your loved one had on your life.

Educational Opportunities: A memorial tree can serve as an educational tool for future generations. It can be a source of inspiration and a way to share stories about the person being remembered.

Trees Make a Powerful and Everlasting Gift: While sending flowers has been common for many as a way to memorialize an individual, our past blog provides 5 reasons why planting a tree in remembrance is superior.

In summary, planting a memorial tree can be a wonderful and sustainable way to create a tribute that honors the memory of a cherished individual and lasts for generations. It does not take a lot of effort to get it done as The Gifted Tree makes it easy to get it done. Of course, if you have questions or need personal help, we are only a phone call away. Call our toll-free number, 800-984-2101, during business hours and speak to a live person. Superb customer service awaits, as our many testimonials confirm.

Beautiful view of the Appalachia Forest where The Gifted Tree plants gift trees.

Trees growing in an urban landscape

Introduction

Imagine being a tree. It is difficult to be a tree in a large metropolitan area. Towering skyscrapers, busy streets with many cars and utility infrastructure, pollution and of course, lots of people, challenges for tree growth abound.  In the hustle and bustle of urban life, where concrete jungles seem to dominate the landscape, a silent hero is emerging to combat environmental challenges and enhance the quality of life in cities – Urban Forestry. This dynamic and evolving field recognizes the importance of integrating trees and green spaces into urban planning to create a more sustainable and resilient environment. In this blog, we will delve into the concept of Urban Forestry, its benefits, and the crucial role tree planting plays in building healthier, happier, and more sustainable cities.

What is Urban Forestry?

Urban forestry is the act of maintaining, protecting, and in The Gifted Tree‘s case — planting — trees in urban locations. All within the backdrop of a rapidly changing landscape.  Urban Forestry is a multidisciplinary approach that involves the management and conservation of trees and green spaces within urban areas that need them most. It goes beyond simply planting trees; it encompasses the careful planning, maintenance, and preservation of urban forests to optimize the ecological, economic, and social benefits they provide. Urban Forestry considers the diverse roles of trees in mitigating climate change, improving air and water quality, reducing urban heat islands, and enhancing overall human well-being.

Imagine a city with no trees. You may not think much about the daily impact of trees on the quality of your life, but the list can be quite long detailing the benefits that city trees provide.

Urban Forestry trees waiting to be planted

The Benefits of Urban Forestry

1.     Environmental Benefits:

·        Carbon Sequestration: Trees act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing and storing carbon dioxide, a major contributor to climate change.

·        Air Quality Improvement: Trees filter pollutants from the air, contributing to a cleaner and healthier urban environment.

·        Biodiversity Support: Urban forests provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species, promoting urban biodiversity.

2.     Economic Benefits:

·        Increased Property Values: Proximity to green spaces and well-maintained urban forests is associated with higher property values, benefiting both residents and the local economy.

·        Energy Savings: Strategic placement of trees can reduce energy consumption by providing shade in the summer and windbreaks in the winter, leading to lower energy bills.

3.     Social and Health Benefits:

·        Improved Mental Health: Access to nature in urban areas has been linked to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

·        Recreational Opportunities: Urban forests offer spaces for recreational activities, promoting physical fitness and social interaction.

·        Enhanced Aesthetics: Trees and green spaces contribute to the visual appeal of cities, creating more attractive and livable urban environments.

4.     Climate Resilience:

·        Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands: Trees provide shade and cool the surrounding environment, mitigating the heat island effect common in urban areas. (Because these areas have many surfaces that retain heat, cities can be 20 degrees fahrenheit hotter than in surrounding rural areas. )

·        Stormwater Management: Urban forests help manage storm water runoff, reducing the risk of flooding and soil erosion.

Illinois-Gift-Tree-Planting-Project

Urban Forestry Challenges and Solutions

Despite the numerous benefits of Urban Forestry, challenges such as limited space, soil compaction, pollution, and inadequate funding can hinder its successful implementation. Furthermore, not everyone is enamored with having a tree on their property.  Despite all the benefits listed above, trees create more work (raking leaves in the fall) and potentially costly maintenance (pruning limbs as the trees grow). However, innovative solutions and community engagement can overcome these obstacles. Involving local communities in tree planting initiatives, implementing green infrastructure, and integrating Urban Forestry into urban planning are essential steps toward building more sustainable and resilient cities.

The Gifted Tree has initiated an urban forestry aspect to its memorial and celebration tree planting program helping you become part of the solution. You now have an option to choose New York or New Jersey as tree planting project locations. These projects are part of The Gifted Tree’s urban forestry projects where donations, instead of planting individual trees, will help plant groves of trees in urban areas – neighborhood parks, schools, and urban campuses. The trees planted are a biodiverse mix of locally grown trees appropriate for urban environments, more mature in their growth cycle and average 3-6 feet in height when planted helping to ensure long-term survivability and the ability to thrive in this urban area setting and more resilient to climate changes of increased temperatures.

Planting trees in urban Newark, New Jersey

 

Conclusion

Urban Forestry is a vital component of urban development that holds the key to creating healthier, more sustainable, and resilient cities. By recognizing and embracing the multifaceted benefits of trees and green spaces, urban planners, policymakers, and communities can work together to weave a green tapestry into the fabric of our cities. As we move towards a future marked by increased urbanization, the importance of Urban Forestry cannot be overstated— planting trees is a beacon of hope for a greener, more harmonious urban landscape.

There is an old proverb, aren’t they all old, which says: The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. The wisdom is almost entirely true, but not totally true as I will explain in a bit. It is almost always a good time to plant a tree as they provide so many benefits.

Benefit of Trees

Tree branches form the shape of a heart with sunset in background.

Without getting into all the details, here are 10 reasons we need to plant and care for trees as is explained in more detail on our importance of trees page.

  1. Trees absorb CO2 gases helping offset the effects of climate change.
  2. Trees provide oxygen and clean the air at the same time.
  3. Tree coverage helps cool by day and retain heat at night thus conserving energy.
  4. Trees act as natural water filters, reduce soil erosion, and help prevent flooding.
  5. Trees help increase property values and beautify communities.
  6. Trees provide a habitat for the world’s plants and animals to, if not thrive, at least survive.
  7. Trees can provide food for both humans and animals.
  8. Trees provide many health benefits including shielding us from harmful ultra-violet rays.
  9. Trees create economic opportunities, especially in impoverished areas around the world.
  10. Trees provide shade so we can enjoy a picnic.

Best Time To Plant a TreeFather wearing gray shirt and shorts and son in checkered shirt and pants planting tree under sun.

The old proverb quoted above shows that man understood the benefits of lush arbor coverage centuries ago, however, one doesn’t just want to plant a tree at any time of year, but at the right time. The best time to plant a tree is typically during the dormant season, which is in the late fall or early spring, depending on your climate and the type of tree you’re planting. Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Late Fall (Autumn): Planting in late fall, after the tree has dropped its leaves, can be an excellent time because the tree can focus on establishing and growing its root system during the cooler months without the stress of hot weather. Also, in the Fall, the soil stays warm well after the air temperature cools, which also encourages root growth. This allows it to be better prepared for the growing season in the spring.
  • Early Spring: Early spring is another suitable time for tree planting, just before new growth begins. The soil is still relatively cool, which encourages root development. It’s important to plant early enough in the spring so that the tree has time to establish roots before the heat of summer.
  • Avoid Extreme Weather: Avoid planting during the hot summer months or during freezing winter conditions. Extreme temperatures can stress the tree and make it harder for it to establish itself. Trees planted in the Fall are better equipped to deal with heat and drought in future seasons.
  • Consider Local Climate: The best time can vary based on your local climate and the specific type of tree you’re planting. Some trees may have specific planting times that are ideal for their growth.
  • Container vs. Bare-Root: If you’re planting a container-grown tree, you have more flexibility in terms of when you can plant, but still, aim for the dormant season or early spring. Bare-root trees are typically planted during the dormant season.
  • Fewer Insects: The cooler temps of Fall and early Winter keep down the activity of insects which can be harmful to newly planted trees (as well as more established, mature trees).
  • Rainfall: If possible, try to time your planting with periods of regular rainfall, which can help the tree establish itself more easily. Increased rainfall and cooler temperatures also means less watering time for you!

As you can see, proper tree planting involves more than just timing. Make sure to prepare the soil properly, dig an appropriate planting hole, and provide the tree with adequate water and care after planting to ensure its success and healthy growth. Additionally, consider the specific requirements of the tree species you’re planting, as some may have unique preferences and needs.

Here at The Gifted Tree, all of our memorial and celebration gift trees are planted in the location’s late spring or fall. This is being done to ensure the long-term survival of the trees as well as to accomplish the goals of the project. We have worked with our tree planting partners for years as they oversee the planting of our memorial and celebration trees as well as monitor their well-being afterwards to help ensure long-term survival allowing these trees to create a legacy lasting for generations.

The Gifted Tree has planting projects in over 80 locations in United States National Forests and in countries around the world. Each planting project has specific goals and plants different species of trees. Join us in exploring these planting locations as we update our locations pages to make it easier to view the projects available and to learn about the goals of the project, the species of trees planted, and, if available, a link to virtually view the general planting area via Bing earth maps.

Trees and a rushing Mountain Stream

 

Pet Loss Tree - Grieving The Loss Of a Pet

 

 

If you are like me, dealing with the loss of a pet is one of the most difficult things we will ever handle. Pets are a family member and bring so much comfort and unconditional love, it is totally understandable that losing them can be emotionally devastating. Our pets play such an important role in our daily lives, as 70% or more of US households have a pet, it is very painful when we lose our pets. And to compound things, if you are a dog owner, again like me, losing “man’s best friend’” will happen a number of times over your lifetime as one is more likely to get a new dog when the old one crosses the rainbow bridge. Thus, pet loss grief is a reoccurring theme.

Because our pets are such valued members of the family and have gotten us through some difficult times, it is not unusual to be hit hard by this loss. Our furry friends hold a special place in our hearts, and their passing leaves an indelible void. Grief is a natural response to this loss, and it’s essential to navigate through the emotions in a healthy and supportive manner. In this blog post, we will explore three strategies and coping mechanisms to help you and your family deal with the death of a family pet.

1.      Acknowledge and Validate Your Feelings

The first step in coping with the death of a family pet is acknowledging your emotions. We love our pets because they’re by our side through thick and thin. They’re loyal and loving; they never fail to make us smile, even when times are tough. For dog owners, who does not remember arriving home after a tough day at work, walking in the house to a wagging tail and kisses on your face. The loss of a pet is devastating in a way that few people understand if they haven’t also had the experience of losing a pet. It’s common to feel a range of emotions such as sadness, grief, guilt, and even anger. These emotions are completely normal, and you need to realize that this grief is valid and real.  Allow yourself and your family members the space to express these feelings without judgment. Remember, it’s okay to grieve the loss of your beloved pet.

2.      Communicate and Share Memories

Pet Loss Tree - Dog Walking In The ForestSharing memories and stories about your family pet can be a healing experience. Sit down as a family and reminisce about the happy moments, funny antics, and the unconditional love your pet brought into your lives. Open communication creates a supportive environment where everyone can express their emotions and find solace in these shared memories. However, as you remember the great times together with your animal, recognize that everyone grieves differently and in a different timeframe. We don’t want to be judgmental if a family member is not feeling the same as you. Doctor Amy Sullivan, a psychiatrist at the Cleveland Clinic emphasizes, “What’s important is that we recognize that people are experiencing these feelings, and we support them and guide them in each of these different emotions.”

Furthermore, if need be, tap your support system from outside your family group. Reach out to friends, family, or fellow pet owners who have experienced a similar loss. They can provide understanding, empathy, and valuable advice. Additionally, consider joining a pet loss support group either in person or online, where you can connect with others who are going through similar grieving processes. Try Googling “pet loss support group near me” and you should be able to learn about a number of support possibilities near where you live.

3.      Create Physical Memorials

Pet Loss Tree - Dog Over The Rainbow BridgeConsider celebrating the life of a departed pet by creating a memorial for your pet or for a friend’s pet that has passed. Physical memorials are one of the easiest ways to remember a pet. Planting a memorial tree has become a popular and perfect way to honor the memory of a lost pet. A memorial tree for a pet sends the message that you understand and that you’re there during this difficult time. (What dog would not want to have a tree planted in its memory? Especially if your dog enjoyed being outside and taking walks in the woods.) Whether you’re looking for a meaningful way to remember your own beloved pet after they’ve crossed the rainbow bridge or you’d like to send a tribute to a friend or family member who has lost a faithful companion, a memorial tree for the loss of a pet will create a perfect remembrance gift and a lasting legacy. Planting a tree in honor of a dog, cat, bird, or other animal is an endearing and enduring pet loss gift and one that provides many benefits to our planet as well.  Engaging in these memorial activities allows you and your family to pay tribute to the love and joy your pet brought into your lives or those of a friend. The Gifted Tree allows you to honor a beloved companion by planting a tree in US National Forests to create a memorable pet memorial. Several unique and handcrafted tribute designs and pet loss cards are available to send to yourself or to the family of those who lost a family pet. One aspect I really like about the website is if you are struggling to find that perfect pet loss message to include with a tribute, there is a full page of pet loss quotes and poems that you can use. One of my favorites is: “Somewhere between hello and goodbye, there was love, so much love.”

Conclusion

Pet Loss Tree - Sad Looking CatLosing a family pet is an incredibly challenging experience, and coping is a process that can take a long time. But with time, support, and self-care, healing is possible. Remember that grief is a unique journey for each individual in your family, and everyone may cope with it differently. Be patient and understanding with yourselves and each other as you navigate this difficult time. Cherish the memories of your furry friend and allow their love to continue to bring warmth and joy to your lives. As Dr. Sullivan concludes herself “I don’t think you ever move on — you move forward, and the relationship you have with each pet is different. No one’s going to replace that.”

Cemetery Tree

Planting trees in memory of a loved one has become very popular especially in lieu of sending flowers. It makes sense. Trees provide many economic, health and environmental benefits as well as providing a gift to the earth lasting for generations. Here at The Gifted Tree, that is what we do, plant memorial trees. Recently, we have received numerous inquiries from grieving families telling us they want trees planted in memory of their loved one and asking how they can let family and friends know that they would like to have trees planted in remembrance of the deceased. We have listened to you, our customer, and have created a program that will help you accomplish that goal. We call it our Obituary Link Program.

Obituary Link Program

Our new obituary link program provides you with a simple to use, special link to your own custom page. You can then include this link when you write the obituary for your local newspaper or in a celebration of life program informing family and friends on how they can plant memorial trees in remembrance of your loved one. We personalize this page to fit your needs.

Personalized Page With a Custom Link

This personalization allows you to let your family and friends know where you would like the trees to be planted, and where to send the tribute cards or eCards. The best part is that we will create a simple URL (website address) for you to include, making it easy for others to have the memorial tree planted. This website address is only known to you and not accessible to outsiders, only those who you want to know. It cannot be clicked through from our website, only by tyyping the unique URL set up for you. Thus, your personal information is safe and secure.

If you desire, you can provide us a photo of the deceased to include on the page along with the date of birth and death. See the sample below. We can also include any biographical information that you desire.

Sample of Info Included in Obituary Program Page

How to get started

Where To Click On The Gifted Tree's Home Page

Once you are logged onto our website, mouse over the heading “Memorial Trees” located along the top of the page and click on the words Obituary Link Program in the dropdown to take you to the information page. Once there, you can get all the info you need on easily creating your page. All you need to do is provide us with the name of your loved one, where you would like the trees planted and the address where to send the tributes. We will take it from there – creating the page and sending you a proof for your approval. Of course, you can call us at 800-984-2101 and talk to a live person to answer all your questions. We will have you email us your information and requirements and, once received, we will create a mock-up proof for your approval and send it to you. At that point, feel free to make any edits or changes, it is not a problem. We will then finalize your page and make it live. The URL address will be simple, TheGiftedTree.com/{your last name}. You can then have this website address included in your newspaper’s obituary or include it in a Celebration of Life program. While the ordering process is easy for your family and friends to follow, they always have the option of calling us toll free and talk to a live person who can answer any question or take the order over the phone.

How Long Does It Take To Set Up?

The good news is that we can set your page up very quickly. Depending on when we get your information during the day, we can get you a proof for your approval that day or the next business day. So please check out our website info Obituary Link Program page or call us today to discuss and let us set up a program to plant trees in memory of your loved one.

 

Magnificent Trees

Giving somebody a gift after they’ve lost a loved one can be an excellent way to show you’re thinking of them during this challenging time, however, there can be particularly treacherous waters to navigate while doing so. Not everybody appreciates materialistic gifts during a time of grieving; it can make it more difficult to move on. Nobody wants to forget about lost loved ones, and everyone copes with these losses in their own way. Sometimes, actual physical gifts can have a negative impact. We have been told many times that while flowers can be nice, they die within a few days and when it is time to discard them, it brings back to mind the loss one more time. The Gifted Tree was created to help give gifting options that will soothe the souls of those who have lost a loved one while making a lasting memory in honor of the individual who passed on.  

Help the Grieving Cope Over Time

Holding hands in compassionate gestureThe Gifted Tree provides a unique, memorable way for the person that lost somebody to know there is an actual living piece of the earth that will last for hundreds of years in the memory of the one they’ve lost. Many times, religious or not, those who lose somebody struggle with the loss because of the finality of death; realizing a loved one is no longer around to provide love, companionship and sage advice is a difficult concept to grasp. Time and time again, The Gifted Tree has given grieving families a bit of respite to know that the one they lost has been remembered and will symbolically live on for generations to come.  Everlasting Memorial Gift Trees are often the most thoughtful gifts because they assist with grieving.

Make a Difference in More than One Way

It’s no secret that we’ve been cutting down trees faster than the earth grows them. It’s an unsustainable, parasitic act, and we must stop before it’s too late. While you can help honor somebody who is no longer with us and assist through the grieving process by planting a memorial tree, you are simultaneously making a difference and giving the earth a gift, too. Humans cut down 15 billion trees annually, a number which continues to climb every year. The Gifted Tree is an inexpensive way to use a loss to the world’s benefit. Help fight global warming and save dozens of endangered species by planting a tree in memory of a loved one.

Pet Loss Trees

Man and dog on pier on mountain lake

Please remember that lost loved ones aren’t always human family members and friends. Losing a pet can often be just as difficult for many – especially if the pet has been a part of the family for many years.  As Winnie the Pooh said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Pet Loss Trees come with several unique and memorable tribute certificate options to be displayed in the family’s home that lost a pet. Perhaps as you go through the ordering process, consider having the tree planted in a location that best suits the pet’s ancestry. The Gifted Tree has 70+ tree planting locations in the United States National Forest and in many countries around the world. The actual forest or country will be listed on the tree planting certificate.

 

Should you want to contact a representative to ask questions, or place an order, speak to a live person, toll-free, by calling  800-984-2101 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9-4, Eastern time zone. Orders can be placed 24/7 online through The Gifted Tree website. Be remembered for giving the best, most thoughtful gift when your friends lose a loved one, by giving the gift of life as a memorial to those who are gone.

 

Ireland Landscape

This Friday, March 17th, millions around the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. When we think of Ireland, we think GREEN. After all, Ireland is referred to as the Emerald Isle, an enduring and endearing name. Ireland is called the Emerald Isle for good reason, as it’s covered by lush green grasses that are fed by its mild climate and plentiful rainfall. We would think it is covered with trees, but believe it or not, Ireland is the least tree-covered country in Europe! I bring this fact up as a reason to plant a tree in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day this year. Better yet, make this a start of what should become a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. As important as living trees have been in Ireland’s cultural history, the fact is Ireland needs trees, lots more trees.

The Importance of Trees In Ireland

Irish sign postsLiving trees have played a central role in the practical daily and spiritual lives of the Irish people. Trees served as landmarks and icons of family and clan identity, and their importance can be measured by the great number of tree-based place names in Ireland – of the 16,000 towns in Ireland, 13,000 are named after trees. Irish myth, story, and music abound with reference to trees, demonstrating the degree to which they were understood and valued by the people. Reference is also made to trees being the home of fairies and spirits. Traveling the Irish countryside, as I have done many times, one is sure to find hand-crafted fairy homes scattered about the forest, always bringing a huge smile to my eyes.Fairy Home in Tree

Celtic Birth Trees By Month

The degree to which trees were understood and valued by the culture even goes back centuries. The Celtic druids had a profound connection with trees and believed they were vessels of infinite wisdom. They felt the entire universe existed in the form of a tree. The roots grew deep below, representing the past. The trunk sat in everyday life, representing the present. The branches reached up high into the heavens, representing the future and afterlife. They developed Celtic tree astrology based on the lunar calendar, so it has thirteen astrological signs rather than twelve. Accordingly, the Druids designated a tree to each of the thirteen moon phases in their calendar and associated each tree with a type of personality. They even determined which signs were most compatible. Take a little time and discover more about your birth tree and the personality traits associated with it and with what other birth tree(s) you are most compatible with in our blog about birth trees by months. If you are so inclined, The Gifted Tree offers a birth tree package which includes a package of tree seeds of that particular birth tree, allowing the recipient to plant his or her birth tree in their own yard.

County Wexford, Ireland Planting Project

The Gifted Tree makes it easy to plant both memorial and celebration trees in Ireland this St. Patrick’s Day, or anytime of the year. Our planting project is located in County Wexford in the southeast part of the island. This planting project will make it possible to create a real forest ecosystem with all its potential for biodiversity, a refuge for wild fauna and flora. The species of trees to be planted in this project include oak, birch, alder and other various hardwoods. The planting of dynamic species in this area will help recreate a functional forest ecosystem providing various ecosystem services. The growth of this new sustainably managed forest will capture atmospheric carbon dioxide, thus combating global warming. The diversity of tree species will give this forest greater resilience to the natural hazards such as storms, droughts and diseases that the forests of Europe are more and more regularly subjected to. This project will also bring a forest atmosphere to this agricultural plain landscape with a new landscape layer.

 

Ireland Thatched Cottage

 

It is possible to visit the planting project virtually on your computer. It is best to view on your PC as opposed to a mobile device. View the general area of your planting by clicking on the following link: https://binged.it/2HSxCjf. Once connected to the map, feel free to zoom in and out to get a feel of the general planting area as well as its location in Ireland, Europe, and the world.

A St. Patrick’s Day Tradition

Now that you know that Ireland needs more trees, go ahead and start a new tradition for St. Patrick’s day, as well as any time of year, and plant a memorial tree or celebration tree in Ireland. A beautiful, majestic tree is a living memorial of life-changing events. Its strength, long lifespan, and regal stature give it a monument-like quality and make it a powerful tribute to a life well lived or an occasion worth of celebration. And that is no blarney.

Couple holding hands walking through the dark hedges in Ireland

In April 2022 The Gifted Tree published a blog titled “The Monarch Butterfly and the Importance of Trees.” Since the publication of this well-read blog, we have received numerous questions on how individuals can help save this beloved species. I will delve into that answer in a moment.  Unfortunately, since the publication of the blog, scientists have placed the iconic orange and black species on an endangered list because of its fast-dwindling numbers. Endangered is two steps away from extinction, and while this is not imminent, it is the rapid rate of decline in the numbers of monarchs that has scientists worried. The monarch butterfly’s struggle to survive is the result of habitat destruction, increased pesticide use and disruptions along its migration route caused by extreme weather events linked to climate change.

Why is the Monarch Butterfly Important

Monarch Butterfly Pollinating a Flower

Monarch butterflies are prolific pollinators and critical to the health of our planet! Monarch butterflies and the pollination services they provide contribute to the sustainability of entire ecosystems. We should be concerned about this decline in the numbers of monarchs because as pollinators, the monarch butterfly migration across the continent provides an invaluable service, essential for many ecosystems to thrive. It is thanks to pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, and other insects, that we have many of the flowers and dietary staples that we enjoy, like squash and blueberries.  As monarchs forage for nectar, they can unintentionally move pollen within and between flowers. This movement of pollen helps flowering plants make seeds, which can eventually disperse and grow into more plants. Seeds and fruit produced as a result of successful pollination can also feed other organisms. While feeding on the nectar that comprises their diet, they pollinate many types of wildflowers — providing an invaluable ecological service to forests and farmlands across their range. They also provide an important food source for birds, small animals, and other insects.

Planting Trees in Mexico Helps

As explained in more detail in our blog, every year, in the early fall, as temperatures begin to fall in North America, millions of monarchs start an epic 3,000-mile migration. They are bound south, instinctively seeking the forests that offer the perfect conditions for overwintering, the welcoming montane oyamel fir and native pine forests of central Mexico, mainly in the state of Michoacán. Adding to the mystique of thousands of butterflies funneling into the Mexican forests every fall is the fact that monarchs arrive around the same time when Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated in early November. “In Mexico, even before the Spanish colonization, you could see images of butterflies through stone carvings and paintings of Indigenous groups,” said Joel Perez-Castaneda, Project Director for The Nature Conservancy in the state of Indiana. “In some stories, they are the returning souls of the loved ones. In others, butterflies are returning warriors that were killed in battle. The truth is that a lot of Indigenous groups believe that, even after passing on, their souls lived through nature and the environment.”Day of the Dead Celebration Michoacan Mexico

Oyamel firs and native pines do not provide food for the monarchs, but are uniquely suited to provide the climate and shelter that eastern migratory monarchs need to rest after their long migration — and to survive the winter. Here, they rest and conserve their energy until seasonal changes provide signals to the butterfly that it is time to start migrating back north to lay eggs and begin the cycle again. The Gifted Tree now has a planting project in the region surrounding the Monarch butterfly Biosphere Reserve in and around the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in the municipalities of Senguio and Ocampo Michoacán, Mexico.

Butterfly migration Michoacan MexicoAs mentioned, the Abies religiosa (Oyamel) tree, which has a lifespan of up to 300 years, helps form the traditional nesting site of the monarch butterfly. These unique trees are being lost due to a one-two punch of overharvesting and climate change. Their strong wood is used to build train tracks — and during the establishment of the Mexican railroad system, logging and manufacturing sites were established, with profound effects. In addition to overharvesting impacts, the Abies religiosa can’t tolerate temperatures above 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and with steadily rising temperatures in its home range, it has been forced to move further and further up the mountainside in search of cooler conditions.

By planting oyamel and other native montane oyamel fir and pine forests, as The Gifted Tree’s project in Mexico does, we can help protect vital monarch nesting grounds, restore degraded lands, improve  water filtration and watershed health, protect vital ecosystem services for nearby communities, and more.

What You Can Do To Help The Monarch Butterfly

As mentioned previously, we have received numerous inquiries as to how individuals, in addition to planting trees in Mexico, can help in the protection of the monarch butterfly. I will try to outline below several ways to get involved and also provide some resources to seek more information.

1.      Plant a Butterfly Garden in Your Back Yard

backyard butterfly garden

Butterfly gardens are composed of a combination of host and nectar plants that provide food for both the adult and larval stages of butterflies. Monarchs need nectar to provide energy as they breed, for their migratory journey, and to build reserves for the long winter. Nectar from flowers provides the fuel monarchs need to fly. If there are not any blooming plants to collect nectar from when the monarchs rest on their migration, they will not have any energy to continue. Planting monarch flowers that bloom when they will be passing will help the monarchs reach their destination. Creating more monarch habitat will help work to reverse their decline.

Plant milkweed! Monarch caterpillars need milkweed to grow and develop. Monarch butterfly caterpillars are uniquely picky in that they only feed on milkweed plants. As a result, milkweed is the only host plant of the monarch butterfly. Unfortunately, human development has decreased the availability of milkweed and plants utilized for nectar There are over 100 milkweed species that are native to North America, many of which are used by monarchs. To learn which species to plant in your region, and how to plant them, visit the Bring Back the Monarchs Campaign at: www.monarchwatch.org.Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed

2.      Reduce or Eliminate Pesticide Use

Pesticides can harm monarchs and other beneficial insects directly by toxicity. Pesticides also can cause indirect harm by reduction of host and nectar plant availability. Limiting pesticide use in your yard will not only help monarch butterflies, but it will help protect other butterflies, pollinators, and beneficial insects. There are ways to protect your garden from pests without harming monarchs according to the website Farm and Dairy.

Leave milkweed alone. Regardless of what strategies you use to control pests in your garden, milkweed should be left alone. It is monarch butterflies’ only host plant and also provides a source of nectar. Milkweed should never be treated with pesticides and likely won’t need much maintenance. It is resilient and spreads quickly when given the space to do so.
Plant more natives. Native plants provide more benefits to wildlife and are better equipped to survive in your backyard. They naturally require less maintenance.
Space plants out. When plants are spaced according to their mature size and gardens are not overcrowded, it limits a pest’s ability to spread throughout the garden.
Don’t bring pests home. Before bringing any plants home from the nursery, inspect them thoroughly to make sure you won’t be introducing any pests.
Live with some pest presence. A certain level of pest presence is normal and natural. Caterpillars chew holes in the leaves of their host plants, so treating them with pesticides would be counterproductive to conserving butterfly populations.
Wash away pests. A lot of times, aphids and other pest problems can be controlled simply by washing them away with the hose. It may take a couple of showers to prevent them from returning, but it’s safer than using pesticides.
Look for alternatives. Scale insects can be dabbed away with rubbing alcohol, slugs can be caught with traps and worms can be plucked off by hand. When there’s an alternative to using pesticides, use it.
Limit the odds of a monarch butterfly coming into contact with pesticides. There are a number of tactics for using pesticides that can help limit the odds of a monarch actually coming into contact with them — only treat affected plants, spray pesticides when they’ll do the least damage, remove flowers from plants treated with pesticides and choose pesticides carefully.

3.      Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Even with small changes, such as using less electricity, you can do your part in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. Increasing seasonal temperatures have the potential to move areas where breeding and overwintering occur. If climate change causes the temperatures to get too warm during spring, monarch butterflies might migrate farther north during the summer seeking out cooler ambient temperatures. Then when winter comes, the longer trip to overwintering sites in Mexico could overtax them and decrease their reproduction. Some organizations to check out to learn more about how you can get involved in protecting the monarch include the aforementioned Monarch Watch and The Xerces Society. Each have projects that you and your family can contribute to. We all need to work together to protect the balance and biodiversity of our natural ecosystems for humans and nature to thrive together.

Learn more about the monarch butterfly and the importance of trees. Honor a loved one by planting a memorial gift tree or celebration tree in Mexico’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve and help save the monarch butterflies.