Memorial Tree Program2020-06-10T09:37:54-07:00

Honor a loved one with a Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary.

Honor and celebrate the life of a loved one with a Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary

  • The Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree program establishes a physical location where one can go to remember, grieve, pray, and commune in memory of a deceased loved one.

  • A Memorial Tree can help heal and transform grief, offering lasting comfort, solace, joy, and connection.

  • Choosing a Memorial Tree can be a thoughtful, unique, and practical way for family and friends to express sympathy and compassion in lieu of flowers and other memorials.

  • Honor a loved one in a natural, peaceful and beautiful setting.

  • A Memorial Tree creates a living legacy and tribute to someone who has died, benefiting the earth and environment, as well as present and future generations.

  • For those choosing cremation, an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree can be a natural, living, and sustainable alternative to placing remains in cemeteries or mausoleums, and/or purchasing tombstones and grave markers.

  • Help Earth Sanctuary achieve its sacred 500-year plan to create a mature old-growth forest for Earth’s future

  • Do your part to combat climate change by planting and preserving trees.

Give the gift of an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree to celebrate significant life events – weddings, graduations, birthdays, new births, anniversaries, and special occasions.

  • Give the unique green gift of a Memorial Tree to honor a family member, a friend, a pet, and bless the Earth in your offering. Example: The Lydia Pettis Western White Pine.
  • Show your love and friendship with this magical and nurturing gift.
  • A Memorial Tree will stand out among ordinary gifts. Make it a holiday tradition or an annual seasonal way of giving.
  • A Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary establishes a physical and spiritual location where one can return to reminisce and celebrate a special life occasion and one another.
  • A Memorial Tree is a tribute that connects people to the beauty and peacefulness of nature.
  • Explore a meaningful on-going relationship with a special tree and its environs.
  • Your eco-friendly tribute and gift will last as long as your living thriving tree, on land preserved for generations to come.
  • Help Earth Sanctuary achieve its sacred 500-year plan to create a mature old-growth forest for Earth’s future.
  • Do your part to combat climate change by planting and preserving trees.

Ready to Order a Memorial Tree?

Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree Choices and Costs

  • An existing tree in the Earth Sanctuary Arboretum or forest: $500 (includes personalized marker)
  • A new tree beside Earth Sanctuary’s Wetland Trail for easiest viewing and access: $1,500 (includes personalized marker)
  • A new tree beside Earth Sanctuary’s Celestial Trail or Middle Path Trail: $750 (includes personalized marker)
  • Ash spreading or ash burial: $250.

We recommend that you set up a phone call or meeting with Chuck Pettis to discuss location, tree species, etc. Contact Chuck at 360-331-6667 (leave a voice message if he is not available) or email Chuck at cpettis@earthsanctuary.org.

Help us plant conifers in this Red Alder Forest

This Red Alder forest was most recently logged in the early 1960s. The main tree that has come back is the Red Alder which is often the first to sprout after severe disturbance and thrives in moist environments. Originally this was probably an old growth cedar, fir and hemlock forest. This alder forest is mature, nearing the end of its life span (about 50-80 years). The trees will be falling and thus make room for the conifers to come in. Alder decays quickly as well as fixing nitrogen in the soil as it grows and thus replenishes the forest floor.

  • Everyone who donates $50 or more to plant trees in the Red Alder forest will have their name – or the name of a person they would like to honor – added to a sign by the forest.
  • Trees combat climate change and global warming.
  • Trees soak up CO2 naturally, creating oxygen and cleaner, healthier air for us.
  • Healthy forests create and sustain wildlife habitats and diverse balanced ecosystems.
  • Trees can be holders of memory for us, places we can return to for inspiration and renewal in our lives.
  • Trees can be our companions and a source of joy, hope, and trust for the future.

Your donation will enable us to fill this Red Alder forest with a wide variety of trees, including Cedars, Spruces, Firs, Pines, Redwoods, Sequoias, Willows, and more!

Donate Any Amount to Help Earth Sanctuary Plant More Trees in the Red Alder Forest

Donate

Tree Species Available

Earth Sanctuary has 30 different tree species available for use as Memorial Trees.

THE TREES OF EARTH SANCTUARY

Big Leaf Maple

Bitter Cherry

Black Cottonwood

Dawn Redwood

Douglas Fir

European Chestnut

Giant Sequoia

Golden Columnar Yew

Grand Fir

Incense Cedar

Jeffrey Pine

Noble Fir

Oregon Ash

Pacific Madrone

Pacific Silver Fir

Pacific/Western Yew

Paper Birch

Ponderosa Pine

Port Orford Cedar

Quaking Aspen

Red Alder

Redwood

Shore Pine

Sitka Spruce

Water Birch

Weeping Willow

Western Hemlock

Western Larch

Western Red Cedar

Western White Pine

White Spruce

Memorial Tree Program FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How did the Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree Program get started?2020-02-07T14:18:58-08:00

Since Earth Sanctuary’s beginning in 2000, Earth Sanctuary visitors and retreatants have reported powerful emotional and spiritual experiences. In the past two years, the following memorials have been requested and created to honor loved ones:
• The John and Cynthia Castle Redwood tree to memorialize long-time friends of Chuck Pettis
• The Evan Michael Reilly Oregon Ash was planted to memorize this young person’s death from suicide
• A granite sculpture was donated to memorialize the parents of three brothers.
• An Axis of Hope prayer wheel was installed in memory of Philip Naber.

Seeing the interest and demand for memorials to honor loved ones, in January 2020 Chuck Pettis created the Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree Program.

What are the purposes of the Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree Program?2020-02-07T14:25:33-08:00

• Help people to honor and celebrate the life of a loved one or themselves with a Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary.
• Provide a special and meaningful gift, an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree, to celebrate significant life events – weddings, graduations, birthdays, new births, anniversaries, and special occasions.
• Help Earth Sanctuary plant conifers in the Red Alder Forest.
• Help fulfill Earth Sanctuary’s 500-year plan to create an old-growth forest.

What are the benefits of honoring a deceased loved one with a Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary?2020-02-07T14:26:07-08:00

• The Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree program establishes a physical location where one can go to remember, grieve, pray, and commune in memory of a deceased loved one.
• A Memorial Tree can help heal and transform grief, offering lasting comfort, solace, joy, and connection.
• Choosing a Memorial Tree can be a thoughtful, unique, and practical way for family and friends to express sympathy and compassion in lieu of flowers and other memorials.
• Honor a loved one in a natural, peaceful and beautiful setting.
• A Memorial Tree creates a living legacy and tribute to someone who has died, benefiting the earth and environment, as well as present and future generations.
• For those choosing cremation, an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree can be a natural, living, and sustainable alternative to placing remains in cemeteries or mausoleums, and/or purchasing tombstones and grave markers.
• Help Earth Sanctuary achieve its sacred 500-year plan to create a mature old-growth forest for Earth’s future
• Do your part to combat climate change by planting and preserving trees.

What are the benefits of establishing an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree for oneself now?2020-02-07T14:27:09-08:00

• Create your own legacy now rather than leaving it to someone else after you pass.
• Honor yourself in a special, loving way.
• A Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary establishes a physical and spiritual location where you can return to reminisce and celebrate your life.
• Connect more deeply to the beauty and peacefulness of nature at Earth Sanctuary.
• Create a meaningful on-going relationship with a special tree and its environs.
• Help Earth Sanctuary achieve its sacred 500-year plan to create a mature old-growth forest for Earth’s future.
• Do your part to combat climate change by planting and preserving an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree of your choice.

What are the benefits of giving the gift of an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree to celebrate significant life events – weddings, graduations, birthdays, new births, anniversaries, and special occasions?2020-02-07T14:27:36-08:00

• Give the unique green gift of a Memorial Tree to honor a family member, a friend, a pet, and bless the Earth in your offering. Example: The Lydia Pettis Western White Pine.
• Show your love and friendship with this magical and nurturing gift.
• A Memorial Tree will stand out among ordinary gifts. Make it a holiday tradition or an annual seasonal way of giving.
• A Memorial Tree at Earth Sanctuary establishes a physical and spiritual location where one can return to reminisce and celebrate a special life occasion and one another.
• A Memorial Tree is a tribute that connects people to the beauty and peacefulness of nature.
• Explore a meaningful on-going relationship with a special tree and its environs.
• Your eco-friendly tribute and gift will last as long as your living thriving tree, on land preserved for generations to come.
• Help Earth Sanctuary achieve its sacred 500-year plan to create a mature old-growth forest for Earth’s future.
• Do your part to combat climate change by planting and preserving trees.
• Is there a low-cost way to help Earth Sanctuary plant more trees to honor the Earth?

Is there a low-cost way that I can help combat climate change and do my part to create an old-growth forest?2020-02-07T14:28:31-08:00

Yes, every little bit helps! Please help us plant conifers in the Red Alder Forest. The Red Alder forest was most recently logged in the early 1960s. The main tree that has come back is the Red Alder which is often the first to sprout after severe disturbance and thrives in moist environments. Originally this was probably an old growth cedar, fir and hemlock forest. This alder forest is mature, nearing the end of its life span (about 50-80 years). The trees will be falling and thus make room for the conifers to come in. Alder decays quickly as well as fixing nitrogen in the soil as it grows and thus replenishes the forest floor.

Everyone who donates $50 or more to plant trees in the Red Alder forest will have their name – or the name of a person they would like to honor – added to a sign by the forest.

Benefits of donating to plant more conifers in the Red Alder Forest:
• Trees combat climate change and global warming.
• Trees soak up CO2 naturally, creating oxygen and cleaner, healthier air for us.
• Healthy forests create and sustain wildlife habitats and diverse balanced ecosystems.
• Trees can be holders of memory for us, places we can return to for inspiration and renewal in our lives.
• Trees can be our companions and a source of joy, hope, and trust for the future.
• Your donation will enable us to fill this Red Alder forest with a wide variety of trees, including Cedars, Spruces, Firs, Pines, Redwoods, Sequoias, Willows, and more!

How much does an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree cost?2020-02-07T14:29:12-08:00

Pricing for Earth Sanctuary Memorial Trees is based on the location of the tree and the age and size of the tree. All trees will be lovingly cared for by Earth Sanctuary.

Pricing:
• An Existing tree in the Earth Sanctuary Arboretum or forest: $500
• A new tree beside Earth Sanctuary’s Wetland Trail for easiest viewing and access: $1,500
• A new tree beside Earth Sanctuary’s Celestial Trail or Middle Path Trail: $750
• A new tree In the Earth Sanctuary forest (minimal access and viewing): $500
• Cost for ash spreading and burial: $250/per person or pet
• Any donation to help plant conifers in the Red Alder Forest
• Flexible payment plans are available on request.

What methods of payment do you accept?2020-02-07T14:29:50-08:00

Payment can be made by check, PayPal, or wire. Flexible payment plans are available on request.

What memorial markers are available?2020-02-07T14:30:23-08:00

There are two memorial markers available:
• An aluminum personalized memorial marker. This is a domed survey marker that is placed in front of the tree slightly above ground level with plenty of room for the tree to grow. These markers are similar to survey monuments used by the US Geological Survey (USGS) to mark permanent and important geographical locations.
• A 6” x 4” Personalized Stainless-Steel Sign

What are my options when choosing my tree species?2020-02-07T14:31:01-08:00

• Earth Sanctuary can choose the best tree species for your location.
• You can choose the tree species.

Tree Species Currently Available
• Coast Redwood
• Dawn Redwood
• Giant Sequoia
• Ponderosa Pine
• White Spruce
• Sitka Spruce
• Douglas Fir
• Port Orford Cedar
• Western Larch
• Siberian Spruce
• Western White Pine
• Shore Pine
• Grand Fir
• Black Cottonwood
• Golden Columnar Yew
• Incense Cedar
• Western Red Cedar

Can we plant our own tree?2020-02-07T14:31:34-08:00

Yes, you may plant your own tree with the agreement of Earth Sanctuary.

What are my choices in picking a specific location for an Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree?2020-02-07T14:32:01-08:00

• You can meet with Chuck Pettis in-person at Earth Sanctuary to select a location for your Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree.
• Based on your input, Chuck Pettis can work with you over the phone or email to pick the best location for your Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree.

When can I visit Earth Sanctuary?2020-02-07T14:32:30-08:00

Earth Sanctuary is open every day of the year during daylight hours.

What are the different locations within Earth Sanctuary that are available for a memorial tree?2020-02-07T14:33:05-08:00

• The Earth Sanctuary Arboretum
• Beside the Wetland, Middle Path or Celestial Trail
• In the deep forest of Earth Sanctuary (generally not easily accessible by foot)

Can Earth Sanctuary Memorial Trees be accessed and visited by foot?2020-02-07T14:33:33-08:00

Yes, Earth Sanctuary Memorial Trees in the arboretum or by the Wetland, Middle Path and Celestial Trails can be accessed by foot.

How will Earth Sanctuary’s 500-year plan be maintained after Chuck Pettis’ demise?2020-02-07T14:34:03-08:00

Chuck Pettis has an Estate Plan incorporated into his Will that ensures that his vision to preserve, protect, and restore the Earth Sanctuary landscape for 500+ years. At the time of his death or at the point where he knows that he will die, a conservation easement will be established to ensure that the land use plan is enforced.

Does Earth Sanctuary offer cremation?2020-02-07T14:34:31-08:00

Earth Sanctuary does not currently provide cremation services. However, we can certainly help you find a trusted provider close to your home.

Does Earth Sanctuary allow the burying or spreading of human remains from cremation, aquamation (cremation by water) or recomposition (the composting of human remains)?2020-02-07T14:46:55-08:00

Yes. Earth Sanctuary has a Cremated Remains Permit that enables them to legally accept ashes.

Note: Ashes, while totally inert, are alkaline (high pH) and do not match the pH balance of the local soil. If you are spreading or burying ashes, we will add product that will be added to the cremains to mitigate the harmful aspects of cremains for ecosystems.

More Info:

Who spreads the ashes?2020-02-07T14:37:06-08:00

Ashes can be spread by Earth Sanctuary or yourself or a designated representative. An Earth Sanctuary representative needs to be present for all ash spreading or burying.

Can I spread or bury my pet’s ashes with my Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree?2020-02-07T14:37:34-08:00

Yes!

Can we have a memorial ceremony for my Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree?2020-02-07T14:38:34-08:00

Yes, your family can hold a memorial service, participate in the spreading of the ashes and visit anytime afterwards.

If you would like guidance and support to create a memorial ceremony for a loved one, a tree-planting ceremony, or a way to honor a special occasion with family and friends at Earth Sanctuary, we have a local interfaith minister and celebrant who can help you craft a ceremony and/or be there to officiate for you if needed.

Lucinda Herring has helped families and communities create meaningful ceremonies for life and death thresholds for over twenty-five years. She is dedicated to helping others connect with nature, land and the earth, as a source of comfort, inspiration and guidance at times of transition and change. In her work as a minister, home funeral and natural burial guide/consultant and a “green” licensed funeral director in Washington State, Lucinda is skilled in helping those who are grieving the loss of a loved one find authentic and healing ways to say good-bye.

Lucinda recently wrote this book: Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials: Learn more.

Does Earth Sanctuary own the land where the memorial trees are located?2020-02-07T14:39:14-08:00

Yes, Earth Sanctuary I LLC owns the entire 72-acre property where the Earth Sanctuary Memorial Trees are located. Chuck Pettis is the sole owner of the LLC.

What does Earth Sanctuary do if my Earth Sanctuary Memorial Tree dies or is damaged?2020-02-07T14:39:53-08:00

Earth Sanctuary will make our best effort to take care of Earth Sanctuary Memorial Trees, but “nature can happen:” windstorms, fallen trees, extreme drought, disease, etc. Earth Sanctuary’s liability is restricted to replanting lost or damaged trees or providing another tree as a memorial.

PDF Version of FAQ
Lucinda Herring

Would You Like to Create a Meaningful Ceremony?

If you would like guidance and support to create a memorial ceremony for a loved one, a tree-planting ceremony, or a way to honor a special occasion with family and friends at Earth Sanctuary, we have a local interfaith minister and celebrant who can help you craft a ceremony and/or be there to officiate for you if needed.

Lucinda Herring has helped families and communities create meaningful ceremonies for life and death thresholds for over twenty-five years. She is dedicated to helping others connect with nature, land and the earth, as a source of comfort, inspiration and guidance at times of transition and change. In her work as a minister, home funeral and natural burial guide/consultant and a “green” licensed funeral director in Washington State, Lucinda is skilled in helping those who are grieving the loss of a loved one find authentic and healing ways to say good-bye.

How Earth Sanctuary Plants New Trees

  1. Earth Sanctuary will provide the land, management, and monitoring to ensure the health and longevity of all Earth Sanctuary Memorial Trees.
  2. We plant trees in the Fall (after rain starts) through Spring (after the last frost, but the ground is still wet), the optimal time for tree planting.
  3. The first step in planting our trees is site selection. Initially several sites are chosen and then, based on the species and needs of each tree, an environment is chosen that will provide each tree’s ideal habitat. This is generally based on soil type, sun exposure, and water habits of an area, but can include more considerations on a case by case basis.
  4. We clear the area where the tree will be planted and dig a hole 2-5 times wider than the pot/base of tree, and 2-3 times deeper (dependent on pot/base size, as well as soil type). The soil is loosened in the area and weeded of any tenacious plants that could out-compete the tree. The tree is oriented slightly above grade to adjust for the settling that will occur and is given a deep watering containing a small amount of SuperThrive to aid in transplant shock, and MycoGrow which also aides in transplant shock, but also has many beneficial long-term effects. The most important among these benefits being the mycorrhizae plant root symbiotic relationship. The mycorrhizae form a large underground web of mycelium, larger than the tree roots could ever be, and connects the tree with the forest around it. The mycorrhizae collect water from a larger area and give it to the tree in exchange for leftover nutrients that have been collected by the tree. This association happens naturally, but is expedited by using MycoGrow, and really aids in the trees survival. This is especially important when considering the droughts experienced the last couple summers (global warming and climate change). Depending on the species of tree and surroundings, it is sometimes given some organic food at this point, but more likely two weeks later after it has had time to establish.
  5. We mulch every tree to retain water, prevent competitive “weed” growth, and help build the mycorrhizal association.
  6. A fence is then installed to protect the young tree against wildlife that may inadvertently harm the planting. When the tree is large enough, the fence will be removed.
  7. The tree is closely monitored its first three years, with a large emphasis on the first year. It is checked every two weeks. This visit includes a watering (if needed), and intermittent feeding on a small scale, specific to each planting. If needed, the base of the tree is kept clear and weeded. This entire process provides the best start for each tree and allows it to flourish in its new home.
  8. We keep a GPS and photographic record and a map of where the tree is planted.

Caveats

Earth Sanctuary will make our best effort to take care of Earth Sanctuary Memorial Trees, but “nature can happen:” windstorms, fallen trees, extreme drought, etc. Earth Sanctuary will replant lost or damaged trees.

Questions?

Email Chuck Pettis at cpettis@earthsanctuary.org
Call Chuck Pettis at 360-331-6667 between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm Pacific Time

ABOUT US

Earth Sanctuary is the vision of its founder, Chuck Pettis. A long-time environmentalist, Chuck decided to take personal responsibility to enhance biodiversity and create a sustainable society by creating Earth Sanctuary. With a 500-year plan to restore the 72-acres of Earth Sanctuary to mature old-growth forest with a maximum diversity of birds, wildlife, plants, and fungi, Earth Sanctuary is an exemplary model for ecological design. The goal: to truly “Design with Nature.”