Rather than give Aunt Edna yet another bottle of perfume, why not dedicate a tree in her name?
If you’ve ever had the urge to give someone a plant, why not take that idea a bit farther and dedicate a tree to them?
It’s not all that unusual an idea, really: you see dedicated trees in parks, zoos, and on university campuses. But even so, it’s not something most people have experienced personally. Well, it’s easy to rectify that.
The Simplest Option
A tree dedication doesn’t have to be a posthumous memorial. It can honor a celebration, represent a sympathy gift, or just be a fun, uplifting present of a kind that no one has ever given that person before. And there are plenty of options to choose from.
At its simplest, dedicating a tree may involve little more than driving down to the local garden center, purchasing a sapling in a 10-gallon pot, and planting it with a little ceremony somewhere. It might be in your own yard, in your giftee’s, or (if you’re given permission) in a public park somewhere.
Elegant and Inexpensive
Depending on the type of tree you choose, the total price for the above might be a hundred dollars or so — possibly significantly less, especially if you opt to acquire the trees from the Arbor Day Foundation. They’ll give you up to 10 free trees when you join, and you’ll get a special price on additional saplings.
A plaque for your tree is optional, but not required; if you do add one, and decide to anchor it to the ground as firmly as possible, that might cost a bit more.
A Grander Scale
If you’re not particularly DIY, but still want to have a tree planted in someone’s honor, that’s not a problem. There are reforestation efforts all over the world that would love to help you plant a tree, in return for cash to help them support their efforts.
The trees won’t have any identifications or plaques, and you’ll have to accept whatever location and species the foresters think best; but you and your recipient will have the satisfaction of knowing that the tree is there, and that you’re helping the world thereby.
For the reforestation option, individual trees might cost as little as $25 each, but “bulk purchases” are usually cheaper. For example, as of mid-2012 you could purchase a half-acre of 10 trees planted in Israel for $115, with an acre (20 trees) going for $215.
Prices do scale up, though. If you have a handy $25,000, you can dedicate a grove of giant California redwoods to someone. That’s basically equivalent to buying them a Ferrari for their birthday, so you may want to dedicate a tree individually instead… but hey, it’s up to you!