Creepy or cool? You be the judge!



Actually I would rather have this than a star named after me. Bios Urn.

Previous articleTulips—surreal and otherwise
Next articleMore “Meet the Author” Nights, please!
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. I love this idea! But I’m concerned that the roots would start circling before the container disintegrates enough for them to get through. Heaven knows I’ve run around in circles enough in this life!

    I once saw a bumper sticker that said “40 isn’t old if you’re a tree.”

    Signed, future Quercus garryana

  2. Quite cool. At least the idea of having ashes beneath a tree. But as someone else said, the packaging is a bit creepy and over the top. As if seven-foot long boxes holding cadavers and being buried into the ground isn’t creepy.

  3. I am going to stick with ashes on the compost pile. I would like to be completely composted – Cornell has(had?) a website that tells you how to composte large animals (a solution for the lack of rendering plants to take your old cow or horse when they die) but I think my decendents could get in trouble for abuse of a corpse or for violating some other state law.

  4. It seems too commercial for my tastes–a moneymaker for the inventor. How much harder would it be to plant a tree and your ashes at the same time, without all the packaging? I’m guessing it would be more likely to succeed too. Also, how do cremains fit in with the nutritional requirements of a seedling?

    Scatter my ashes and let nature take its course–or bury me in a “green” biodegradable coffin and let the worms do their magic!

  5. Idea – wonderful. Packaging – moderately creepy. However, for someone like me with no children and no future generations to come visit a grave, it would be a good solution…..

  6. Human cremains are actually pretty heavy. I know. I just carried my father from Asheville, NC back to Florida. That Big Gulp looking cup looks a bit flimsy to me for the actual transportation required to get to the site of the future tree. And why bother with the cup and a seed? Dig a hole, dump in the ashes with a sack of manure and plant a nice tree from a local nursery. You are already saving a fortune on the casket. You can afford a nice tree. The Ta Go box you get at the mortuary is sturdier than that sad looking cup.

  7. Human cremains are also pretty greasy. I once spoke to some seminary students who had been cautioned: scattering someone’s ashes is not exactly how you imagine it. And yes, there are laws that address disposal of these ashes. I think you’re even supposed to go into international waters to cast the ashes into the sea.
    That said, I like Christopher’s solution. You get to pick your tree AND your manure.

  8. This sounds like another “garden in a can” idea. My sister in law has one for her 3 year old daughter. You pop the top off the can, water, and seeds germinate in a few weeks. Non-gardeners like my sister in law think they’re cute and that they’ll work. But, you know what, they never do. The seeds never germinate, or they dampen off, or someone forgets to water them and they shrivel up.

    That would be my luck–my tree would come up and then get eaten by a rabbit.

    Stick me in a pine box or throw me in the compost pile and save the $$.

  9. No need to go into international waters to scatter ashes, as suggested above; there are even charter boats (on the west coast, anyway) that will take you out to scatter your loved one’s ashes. I’m pretty sure that once the cremains are given to you, you can scatter them where you want to.

    I just keep looking at the picture of this “kit”, and imagining it lined up on the shelves at Wal-Mart or Home Depot next to the potted mums or primroses…it’s like, one minute we can’t talk about death, and the next, we have to commodify it.

  10. My first thought is “what is the liklehood that a single seed is actually going to grow into a tree?”

    I’m with the others above — dig a good big hole, and plant roses over me 🙂

  11. Innovative idea.
    It would be perfect for my non-gardening family.
    Easy peasy pie, sort of like cup-o- noodles for those non cooks or gardeners.
    organic no panic.

  12. I like it much better than all the land wasted putting people in a box and then a huge stone monument on top. I would like to be dumped in a hole with manure and a nice tree on top too. That is an excellent idea. Maybe with a great bench for sitting on beside it, along the river. Much nicer for visiting than the good luck finding your relative in that field of stones place.

Comments are closed.