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Choosing and Dedicating a Remembrance Tree

A remembrance tree is a beautiful living reminder of someone who is no longer with us. A way of expressing love and honouring their memory, many find comfort from visiting a tree which was carefully chosen and dedicated to their loved one.

For some, simply the act of planting a memorial tree brings them peace, while others specifically choose a tree based upon its characteristics or symbolisms. To help you with your decisions, we have collated information about a variety of exotic and native tree gifts to consider.

Remembrance Tree Symbolisms & Characteristics 

When selecting a memorial tree, you will need to consider the site it will be planted and if you want a flowering tree or not. You may wish to consider selecting a tree gift based upon its symbolism or characteristics. Here are some of the details for a few of our remembrance tree options:

  • Olive tree – a sign of peace and friendship, the gifting of an olive tree helps with providing hope for the future. Easy to care for, olive trees enjoy having dry roots and are suitable for both garden and container planting.

  • Magnolia tree – symbolising "something long lasting and held dear within the heart", the graceful magnolia would be a lovely memorial tree for a special lady.

  • Kowhai tree – many Maori have traditionally referred to the Kowhai tree as the Tree of Life, or Kōwhai-turanga ora. A lovely way of showing that though a loved one has passed on, they remain alive in our memories.

  • Kanuka tree – one of the first trees to arrive on site after a fire or environmental disaster, the mighty kanuka demonstrates that no matter how hard things get, life will continue. As an important Maori medicinal tree, a kanuka would make a lovely memorial tree for someone who cared for others during their lifetime.

  • Camellia tree – well known in the tea drinking world, a camellia tree also symbolises faithfulness, love, affection and devotion. With a beautiful glossy leaf and an abundance of flowers, it would make a lovely tree to remember a grandparent or parent.

  • Pohutukawa tree - has a deep spiritual meaning for Māori connecting the beginning and ending of human life. In mythology, the red flowers of the tree represent the blood of the warrior Tawhaki, a spirit ancestor whom showed the way from earth to heaven.  He subsequently fell to earth and the crimson flowers are said to represent his blood.

Dedicating a Tree in Memory of a Loved One

A remembrance tree will not fade away like cut flowers, but instead will be something tangible to see and touch to remind you of a loved one who has passed. The dedication can be as simple as writing a few words of sympathy in a card along with the tree gift, the reading of a poem as the tree is planted, a plaque displayed at the base of the tree or the taking of photos of the tree as it grows over the years, capturing and remembering special memories and occasions.

If you need any help with selecting a living gift, choosing heartfelt words to include in a gift card or to pass on your sympathy to loved ones when you can’t be there, we’re here to help.

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