white flowers on a tree against a blue sky

Memorial/Honorary Trees

A tree dedicated to a loved one can provide a living, growing memorial. Some people have a particular tree they have always loved or associated with fond times; others have a particular place in the arboretum where they liked to explore, picnic, walk or simply relax. The Curator of the arboretum works with a prospective donor to find a type of tree that elicits the memory of the honoree through the type of tree, its location, or both, and a tree that will thrive under local conditions and fit well with the themes of The Arboretum. A customized tag indicates the type of tree, the person honored, and something about the person being honored.

Planting Ceremony: Friends and family are invited to attend a planting ceremony and help position the tree in the ground, cover its roots with soil and mulch, and water it in. Trees should be planted in fall or spring to give them the best chance to get established. In Virginia, ashed remains are not permitted to be buried with the tree (except in cemeteries and church yards), but they can be scattered at the planting site.

Finding the Tree Later: All trees in the arboretum are mapped and can be located through our interactive search web page. https://findtrees.blandy.virginia.edu. You can search the website for the person being honored and create a map showing that particular tree, or you can search the website for a type of tree and it will show you where all the trees of that type are and indicate which are honorary trees (they are indicated with a blue icon). If you click on the icon it reveals who the tree is for.

Donation Amount: Memorial/Honorary trees are available for a donation of $1800 each.

Longevity: Memorial/Honorary trees are considered a living memorial with a finite longevity. We will maintain the tree through its healthy, natural lifespan and replace it with the same or similar kind if it dies within 25 years of planting. The staff and Curator are responsible for all care the tree receives.

For additional information or to plan on a planting, please contact T'ai Roulston [email protected]