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.

Area in Tuscany near The Gifted Tree's Italy tree planting project


Tuscany, Italy

Earlier in the month, my family and I were fortunate enough to visit Italy. Our itinerary started in Rome, continued to Naples and down to the Amalfi coast and finished up in Tuscany, the area of The Gifted Tree’s tree planting project. As we drove north into the Tuscany hills, as well as spending the day traveling around the Tuscany countryside, it became readily apparent why the area has the reputation it has. It is well deserved. The central Italian region of Tuscany is known for being one of the most beautiful areas of the country, and it does not disappoint. In addition to its scenery – the rolling green hills, olive groves, vineyards, and wide-open skies – Tuscany is famous for its charming, rustic villages which reflect the history of the region.

Landscape of Tuscany Italy Planting Project - The Gifted Tree

World War II and Italy

Unfortunately, part of that history also includes World War II. Due to movies and books, most people remember the war taking place in France, England, and eastern Europe. The fact is, however, since the beginning of the war, Italy, like other European countries, was the victim of numerous airborne attacks. It wasn’t only cities to be in danger, but also specific locations of strategic relevance in the countryside. Germans occupied numerous towns and villages in the area around Florence, and the area was subject to many allied bombing sorties which were quite damaging to the countryside. Besides damage to the buildings and infrastructure of Tuscany, the forests in the area were majorly damaged and areas that used to be tree covered were left bare and in ruins.

Our Planting Project in Tuscany, Italy

Located in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy (Tuscany), the Pomino Forest borders the Casentinesi National Forest Park. Tuscany is one of Italy’s most visited regions because of its architecture, land, gastronomy, and also its preserved natural areas. The area is full of protected green spaces surrounding small villages that are popular among tourists from all over the world, including my family.

The village of Pomino is located 7 kilometers away from the town of Ruffina. This village of 228 inhabitants is particularly known for its production of white and red wines. Around the vineyards, the forest offers unique landscapes to all who visit. Following the destruction of this forest in the Second World War, it was totally replanted in Douglas pine, significantly reducing the former biodiversity of the site. Additionally, this barely diversified stand was thus particularly sensitive to climatic hazards and biological attacks. But thanks to The Gifted Tree, and its non-profit tree planting partners, the forest of Pomino is being restored through its tree planting project in Tuscany. Trees are being planted and the natural regeneration of the existing plants is supported to ensure the future of the forest.

Tree Planting Project Tuscany Italy

To fortify the forest, Douglas firs are being planted alongside new species including pine, birch, chestnut, beech, pedunculate oak, sessile oak, hornbeam, hops, ash, maple, limewood, and cherry trees. The strategy is starting to pay off as the forest is diversified and strengthened. Today, it is home to a rich biodiversity of animals including wolves who have returned to the area and are now permanently present.

By the end of the project in a few years, two thirds of the land area around Pamino and the Casentino National Forest Park will be converted into a diversified mixed forest, composed of species perfectly adapted to the site’s climatic conditions. Ultimately, the balance between the environmental, social, landscape and economic functions of Pomino’s forest will be restored to what existed before the tragedies of World War II.

Tuscany, Italy countryside near The Gifted Tree's planting project

Planting Gift Trees in Tuscany, Italy

The Gifted Tree make it easy to plant a memorial or celebration tree in Tuscany, Italy or one of 80 locations in United States National Forests or many countries around the world. Choose the tribute design option you like from one of the six hand-crafted choices. Customize and personalize the message you want to include on the tree planting certificate, and let us know the address where we should send the tribute card.  The tribute is sure to show you care as well as help reforest areas that are devastated by fire and climate change, and world war.

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


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,{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

Women practicing yoga under a tree with mountains in the background

World Mental Health Day is Sunday, October 10, 2021. The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. Mental illness and its consequences come in many forms and has major effects on peoples’ lives worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly exacerbated the negative ramifications associated with mental illness and media attention has brought this destructive problem into better focus. While there is much written about mental health and many debates on ways to improve ones’ mental health, it is pretty universally accepted that trees have a positive impact on ones’ mental health and being around trees is good for our mental health and social well-being.

I touched upon the benefits of trees during the global pandemic in a prior blog and that trees can help provide a stress relief during these uncertain times. But the benefits of the forests was well known even before COVID-19 was part of our everyday lexicon.  The Japanese even coined a term for it: shinrin-yoku. It means taking in the forest atmosphere or “forest bathing,” and the Japanese ministry encourages people to visit forests to relieve stress and improve health. Further research in the field has identified not only the well-known benefits of trees – producing the oxygen we breathe and sequestering carbon dioxide to help negate the affects of climate change – but many health benefits as well.

Trees Improve Health in Urban Areas

Being subjected to noise, pollution, and overcrowding in urban areas, individuals in cities suffer from higher rates of almost every mental health problem as compared to those who live in the country. Frederick Olmsted, who designed New York’s Central Park, and is considered the grand-master of landscape architecture, understood the importance of trees in designing his parks around the country. While open green space has value, it is the presence of trees, and its canopy cover, that really provides a stress relief for city dwellers. Trees, as he reflects, are simple and natural but “touch us so quietly that we are hardly conscious of them.” Bird's Eye view of Central Park New York City

Trees Help Reduce Stress

Spending time around trees reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and improves mood. While it is always beneficial to participate in active exercise, simply sitting and looking at trees has shown to reduce blood pressure as well as the stress-related hormones. Even those with a “green” view from a hospital recovery room following surgery recover faster, have shorter postoperative stays, take fewer painkillers, and have slightly fewer postsurgical complications compared to those who did not have a similar view or no view at all.

Other Ways Trees Make Us Healthier

Exposure to trees boosts our immune system which helps protect us as we fight off disease. Spending time in nature also helps us focus, stay calmer and be more patient in anxiety-producing situations. Even in children, studies show that young ones who spend time in natural outdoor environments have a reduction in attention fatigue, and those diagnosed with ADHD show a reduction in related symptoms. Finally, exposure to tree and forests helps improve sleep and leads to increased energy levels.

Even as awareness of mental health becomes more prevalent, and promoting action at an earlier stage become more common, unfortunately there are still a staggering number of lives lost to conditions associated with mental health. The Gifted Tree makes it possible to plant a tree in memory of someone whose life was lost due to mental illness. The tree planting in a U.S. National Forest or in one of 30 countries worldwide is accompanied by a beautiful, personal tribute sent to the family which will show you care and help in the grieving process. The Gifted Tree has also partnered with Hilinski’s Hope so that you can designate that the memorial tree be planted in its grove in California and Washington, and part of the proceeds is donated to this fine organization whose goal is to educate, advocate, and eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness, especially in students. Read the Hilinski’s Hope story here.

Lone tree next to an empty bench by a lakeAs we participate in World Mental Health Day, challenge your beliefs and possibly rethink the way you look at mental health. Support others who are going through challenging times and engage in ways to boost your mental health by finding ways to decompress and relax. Finally, find ways to give, whether it is by planting a tree in memory of someone who was lost to mental health disease or volunteering your time to an organization that works with those suffering from the seven major mental health conditions: Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis, Eating Disorders, Depression, PTSD, and Addiction/Substance Use Disorder. Hopefully, your actions can help bring hope to the 1 in 5 Americans living with a mental health condition.