So you want to be a tree?

16/09/2022

Fair enough. You know that we're made up of organic matter that in theory can be compost and we contain a lot of water, so surely we can be 'turned into trees', right?

Being The Natural Funeral Company, we are - naturally - asked this question quite a lot.

The answer is, well, sort of, but I'm sorry to inform you it isn't quite as neat and tidy as you may have hoped. And maybe not a tree, but would a complete mini ecosystem suffice?

There is a misconception that somehow, some very clever people have designed a process where-by your body helps the tree to thrive and therefore you technically become one with the trunk, branches and leaves. Some believe that their ashes could offer nourishment to the tree or that their remains become integrated into the root system. This, I'm sorry, just isn't to be. Especially with regard to cremated remains, as they are unhelpful to immature trees, with their alkalinity and salt factors.

Can a tree be planted on top of your buried body? Hmmm, well, sort of. Some good news. There are *some* places where you are able to have a commemorative tree/shrub planted upon your gravesite. There are still many hindrances around this. People can't just go around planting trees randomly throughout cemeteries willy-nilly.

Wirra Wonga- Enfield Memorial Park (trees/shrubs)
Wirra Wonga- Enfield Memorial Park (trees/shrubs)

However with the increase of awareness into the Death Positivity movement as well as folks becoming more and more conscious of their environmental footprint, there are now beautiful, gentle and green alternatives to traditional cemetery burial grounds.

Here in Adelaide, we have two unique options (speak to us to learn more). Both are developed and managed using Australian native plants offering diversity, sustainability and create self-sustaining ecosystems. These burials, whether cremated remains internment or full body burials, use only natural materials and mean that minimal interference is involved with our body preparations. No embalming, a biodegradable coffin, no plastics. Some choose to be placed, very simply, in a shroud directly into the earth. The result of this care and attention is an environment thriving with bees, birds, wildflowers, blossoms and shrubbery. It's peaceful, sustainable, eco-friendly, and so very natural.

So do you become a tree?

The answer technically is still no. But can your earthly remains contribute towards a thriving and nourishing eco-system with a bush/shrub/flowers on and nearby? A chemical free, tranquil resting place in native bushland? Absolutely the answer is yes. 

Pilyu Yarta - Smithfield Memorial Park (wildflowers)
Pilyu Yarta - Smithfield Memorial Park (wildflowers)

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Over the years, and especially in the past two years, there has been a trend towards people increasingly choosing small funerals. Simple and dignified these are lower priced choices compared to a traditional service.

Fair enough. You know that we're made up of organic matter that in theory can be compost and we contain a lot of water, so surely we can be 'turned into trees', right?

The alkaline hydrolysis process is known by a number of names or terms, Resomation, BioCremation, flameless cremation, chemical cremation, green cremation and aquamation.