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, offering 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.

SaplingA broad selection of native trees are appropriate for Sun Rising and the majority of these are listed below.

Large Trees : these not always available; 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 trees and shrubs.

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

Small Trees : these make up the understory of native woodland, often coming into leaf more quickly and seeding more prolifically.

  • Alder Buckthorn : Rhamnus frangula
  • Bird Cherry : Prunus padus
  • Blackthorn : Prunus spinosa
  • 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 around the pond. These are not on graves, but a memorial plaque can be bought to identify the tree as being in honour of someone buried at Sun Rising or elsewhere. These include :

  • Alder Buckthorn : Rhamnus frangula
  • 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.