Due to their green color and calming appearance, trees are the best representation of nature. Nature without trees is like an ocean without water, meaningless and bland. They also represent wisdom, strength, and protection.
Tree pods combine all these elements and act as the final, biodegradable home for remains. Their increasing popularity can be determined from the fact that the green burial industry is estimated to reach the size of $1.21 billion by 2030.
You never know what battles people may be fighting.
What is a Tree Pod Burial?
As the name suggests, a tree pod burial is an egg-shaped burial pod that houses human remains in a natural fiber cloth that degrades with time. As the human body degrades on earth, it releases nutrients and microbes that feed the plant above and helps it grow.
So, an old organism gives life to a new organism in an eco-friendly manner. It was first unveiled in 2016 by two Italian designers, Francesco D’Angelo and Adriano Del Ferro. They called the concept Capsula Mundi project, which is since evolved into more refined forms of green burials.
Today there is a smaller version of the original tree pod, which holds the ashes of the deceased. However, it works similarly to the original design of tree pods for natural burials. A tree is planted above the capsule while it takes its nutrients from underneath and grows.
How Much Does Tree Pod Burial Cost?
Luckily, the tree pod burial is both an eco-conscious choice as well as cheaper than traditional burial services. Traditional burials can cost you up to $12,000, as even the casket alone comes at a significant cost.
On the other hand, tree pod burial costs between $1,000 and $4,000. The biodegradable urn costs only around $500, while the young tree can set you back $50-60. The other costs depend on the price of cremation services in your area.
The other costs come from the place where you want to bury your loved one. If you have your own property or have a place reserved for you, you’ll be saving a serious amount of money.
However, if you want to book a conservation site for the burial pod, you’ll be paying between $1,000 and $4,000. This might seem like a high amount on the face of it, but it is significantly less than what you pay as traditional burial fees.
The Different Tree Pod Options and Their Costs
The cost of your tree pod burial will also depend on the option you decide to go with. Available options include:
- Bios Urns: This option offers a plantable urn system and costs between $99 and $150. If you wish to have a portable or moveable urn, you can buy the Bios Incube Lite, which costs about $295. The Bios Urns are also popular among pet owners.
- The Living Urn: This indoor tree pod goes for a price ranging between $129 and $329. The living urn also comes with family plans and other easily accessible options.
- Capsula Mundi: This Latin term translates to “world’s capsule”. Capsula Mundi tree pods are designed by an Italian company and each goes for $370.
However, you must note that these prices are not inclusive of the cost of buying the tree, which can cost as much as $125 or more depending on the size and variety. If you have a burial insurance policy or any other form of life insurance coverage, it can help pay some or all of these expenses.
So why would you leave your family with a $10,000 final expense bill?
How Do Tree Pod Burials Work?
What Happens During a Tree Pod Burial?
The body is not embalmed or treated for burial before it’s placed inside the biodegradable urns. Since the egg-shaped pod is small, the body is placed in a fetal position. The entire body is wrapped in natural fibers, and the egg is fully closed and placed under the burial site. Later, the sapling is planted directly above it.
That sapling starts taking nutrients from underneath it as the body decomposes; it provides nutrients and microbes. The sapling keeps growing as it soaks more and more nutrients and slowly becomes a tree.
The science behind the process is simple but effective. The bacteria in the soil slowly start decomposing the outer shell, and the ashes come into contact with the ground. After the connection, the sapling starts getting its nutrients and growing.
Is Biodegradable Burial Pod Tree Environmentally Friendly?
Traditional burial methods are harmful to the environment in many ways. This means that you’re still contributing in global warming even after you die. The wood, metals, and other items used in traditional burial have a heavy environmental impact.
However, biodegradable urn takes a completely different approach to it and offers an eco-friendly alternative to combat climate change. The biodegradable shell of the pod breaks easily as time passes and unleashes the nutrients inside the body alongside microbes to nurture the tree. There is nothing in this process that keeps lingering in the environment for a long time.
What Are Some Ideas For Tree Pod Burial Locations?
Using a tree pod burial concept is a creative non-conventional burial practices that’s useful for the environment. There are many ideas you can try for tree pod burials locations. Let’s discuss some of the most interesting locations where you can place your tree pod burial.
The first location where you can place your burial pod is your private property or in the background of a garden after getting the owner’s consent. If you have your own backyard or garden, it’s certainly the best place for tree pod burials.
Get a plant that’s suitable for your garden. Factors to consider when choosing the right tree for your garden include its size and type. Different locations might also require different types of trees.
If you plan to move out in the future or there is a chance it might happen, consult a plant transplanting s
ervice that can take the pod or plant to your new location. They’ll ensure that everything remains intact while the plant is transported to the new location.
Moreover, different states have different local laws regarding burial pods. Some demand they should be planted in the wilderness or in the backyard of a consenting owner. So, always check with the local authorities before proceeding.
Planter or Container
Another location for planting your tree burial pod is inside a planter or a container. You can do this indoors or outdoors depending on your preference, space, plant species, etc.
You can place the plant inside the container where it will grow, soaking in the required nutrients. However, the tree reaches a considerable height after 12-18 months. After that period, you might need to remove it and plant it somewhere natural.
One way of getting around this problem is to buy a dwarf tree. These trees never grow too large, and the container will minimize their growth further. However, if you choose a normal tree, make sure to place it somewhere else by hiring a reputable transplantation service.
Natural Burial Sites
You can place tree burial pods in a natural burial site such as a local forest or park. However, make sure that the species you choose are compatible with the local flora and fauna.
Some forests and parks have special laws regarding them, so make sure you follow them when choosing your organic burial pods.
You can also choose several green burial locations for your human remains, and most of them will allow it. Even local cemeteries sometimes allow tree pod burials.
However, different states and cemeteries have different laws regarding green burials, so confirm before you proceed with this option.
Some Creative Choices
You do not have to go for any of the above locations, as people have tried all kinds of creative locations for tree pod burials. These places include golf courses, churches, lakes, reforestation sites, etc.
Just ensure that you introduce a native species so natural balance is not disturbed.
Which Tree Memorial is Right for Me?
Choosing a tree memorial for the green burials of your loved ones depends upon several factors, such as zones, local environment, species, etc. Here are some of the best memorial trees for you.
Blue Spruce Tree
With a blue-green tinted shape and cone shape, blue spruce adds a touch of color and uniqueness to your garden. As such, it’s a great way to remember your loved ones.
They are strong and can withstand harsh weather. With their unique colors, they present a perfect contrast against the white snow and other plants. Moreover, when it is rooted, it becomes almost completely self-sufficient and does not need much help to grow.
The iconic red hues of the red maple trees are unmatched in their glory. They bear red buds in winter and red, yellow, or orange leaves in fall.
The perfect growing conditions for red maple are moist earth, partial shade, and limited exposure to the sun. They have shallow roots so keep them away from places with underground pipes.
Sargent Cherry Tree
The iconic pink flowers of the Sargent cherry tree brighten up the memories of your loved ones whenever you look at them.
It also bears small fruits in summer, which attract birds, making the whole environment serene. It grows fine in shady spaces and does not need much assistance once it is set.
Is Burial in a Tree Pod Legal in the US?
Yes, it is legal to bury your loved ones in burial tree pods in the United States. However, the burial process varies from state to state. So, before you choose burial plots for your loved ones, make sure you are well aware of the local zoning laws.
Where Can I Buy Organic Burial Pods?
Thanks to environmental consciousness among people, the demand for organic burial pods has increased significantly. There are many brands today that are offering high-quality biodegradable tree pods for burying your loved ones in a sustainable manner.
Capsula Mundi, the brand that started it all, offers sand and white colors. Their Capula Mundi tree pods are available at $465.
Tree Pod Burial Cost FAQs
Can I be buried in a tree pod?
Yes, you can be buried in a tree pod. However, it depends on whether local laws of the state allow tree pod burials the way you want it done.
How much does tree pod burial cost?
A tree pod burial usually costs between $1,000 to $4,000, which is significantly cheaper than traditional burial fees.
Can I be buried in my own woodland?
Yes, you can be buried in your own woodland, but it comes with some caveats from the Environmental Agency. These include the size of the grave, the depth of the soil, the 50m distance from nearby water sources, etc.
What is the greenest way to be buried?
Putting the body of the deceased inside a tree pod is the greenest way to be buried. It has a minimal environmental impact because it not only degrades but also adds a tree to the natural environment.