Living Legacy Forest treats cremated ashes so that they nourish trees.
The concept of burying a loved-one’s ashes under a tree or flowering shrub isn’t as straightforward as you may think.
Warren Roberts, founder and CEO of Living Legacy Forest, likens the alkalinity of ashes to caustic soda, saying the pH is so high that it either kills plants or hampers root growth.
“At the moment, most people don’t realise that, and so with all good intentions they go into parks and forests and scatter their ashes,” he says.
“Imagine if you put 3kg of oven cleaner on a tree. It is in no way good for the tree.
“Even if you put the ashes in a biodegradable urn, the tree survives the ashes by growing away from it, or it just doesn’t survive in a lot of cases.”
Mr Roberts should know. He spent about two years working with plant pathologist Dr Mary Cole, conducting scientific tests in order to overcome this problem. Their work focussed on transforming donated cremated ashes into micronutrients which are small enough to be absorbed by trees and nourish them.
Mr Roberts says trees planted with donated ashes have thrived over 12 months, so Living Legacy Forest is now proud to be offering the opportunity commercially, allowing “the essence of the person to live on with the power and beauty of nature”.
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