Sun Rising
Natural Burial Ground and Nature Reserve
01295 688488

A Tree as a Living Memorial

Memorial Trees beautifully express the enduring cycles of nature, Young Memorial Trees on Gravesoffering not only a gift to the one who has passed away, but to the landscape and to generations to come.

Where a woodland plot is chosen, a Memorial Tree can be bought through us to be planted on the grave. This option is available for coffin burials and for graves where cremated remains have been interred. Memorial Trees can also be bought to mark the lives of those we have loved and respected who are not buried at the site.

The photo to the right shows young memorial trees planted in a new woodland area.

A broad selection of native trees are available for planting at Sun Rising and the majority of these are listed below.

Large Trees : these are tree which grow to take up more space in the canopy and the earth. They are restricted so may not always availabl:; too many large trees will compete with each other, allowing none the chance to mature properly, nor the development of a healthy understory of smaller treesand shrubs.

  • Common Alder : Alnus glutinosa
  • English Oak : Quercus robur
  • Small Leaved Lime : Tilia cordata
  • Wild Service Tree : Sorbus torminalis

SaplingSmall Trees : many of these make up the understory of native woodland, often coming into leaf more quickly and seeding more prolifically. There are also trees here that are larger but don't tend to dominate.

  • Alder Buckthorn : Rhamnus frangula
  • Bird Cherry : Prunus padus
  • Blackthorn : Prunus spinosa
  • Buckthorn : Rhamnus cathartica
  • Crab Apple : Malus sylvestris
  • Dog Rose : Rosa canina
  • Field Maple : Acer Campestre
  • Guelder Rose : Viburnum opulus
  • Hazel : Corylus avellana
  • Hawthorn : Crataegus monogyna
  • Silver Birch : Betula pendula
  • Wild Cherry : Prunus avium
  • Wild Privet Ligustrum vulgare

A slightly different selection of trees are available as memorial trees in damper areas. These include :

  • Common Alder : Alnus glutinosa
  • Dog Rose : Rosa canina
  • Dogwood : Cornus sanguinea
  • Goat Willow aka Sallow or Pussy Willow : Salix caprea
  • Guelder Rose : Viburnum opulus

If the tree you would most like is not in the list above, please enquire. There are some trees that are native to the ecology of the site but either rare or very common, and thus can only be planted in small numbers or in certain areas. You'll notice that some trees that thrive in local gardens are not on the list: a garden may have well-drained soil after generations of care, while the heavy clay of the burial ground is the native soil and not so forgiving!

To see photographs and information about each tree on our list, have a look at the following websites :

Guarantees : Memorial Trees are guaranteed for ten years. If a tree fails within ten years of it first being planted, we will replace it free of charge. If we feel a different species would do better in that spot, or the developing woodland will no longer allow adequate space for the tree to grow, we would consult with the family. After ten years, we encourage families to see the woodland as a whole as the memorial, trees growing, seeding and dying to allow new saplings space to grow.

Buying Trees : Memorial Trees are provided by us. Trees are planted as little barerooted saplings (40 - 90 cm) in order to give them the best chance to establish and grow, and are protected from rabbits, hare and deer with sturdy green tree guards. We strive to ensure that all our saplings are English grown, bought from a local tree nursery.

Planting : Trees planted before Christmas always do better than those planted afterwords. Our Tree Planting Weekends are held in late November and early December, and all families who have bought a tree are notified and invited to attend - whether to plant or witness the planting of the trees by Sun Rising staff and volunteers. For more information, check our Activity Days page.