Create Your Family Legacy
Planning your family memorial has never been easier. Simply follow the below steps to decide what you want.
Choose Your Tree
You and your family can visit one of our forests and choose a tree to be reserved exclusively for you.
Tell us how many people you’re planning for, how close your tree should be to a pathway, and what tree species you prefer.
You can choose a tree exclusive to your family, or a tree in a communal spreading area.
Whatever you choose, you’re creating a natural legacy for your family to return to and remember.
Create Your Family Memorial
After you choose your perfect memorial tree, you can spread the ashes of loved ones around your reserved tree for generations to come. Your pets’ ashes can also be spread under your tree.
Your tree is visually identified with a beautiful bronze marker, so it will always be easy to find. You and your family can visit our forest and your memorial tree any time you like.
Unlike traditional cemeteries, your tree doesn’t run out of room to include your family members. The ashes break down in the soil in a few years, which means your family memorial can truly be yours forever.
Remember Your Family Legacy
Our forests include benches, pathways, and restrooms to ensure that every visit is comfortable and memorable.
Our forests are permanently protected and can never be redeveloped. This means your family can truly create a singular place for future generations to visit and remember.
Your tree is reserved exclusively for you and your family, and it will be replanted when it dies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Everything you need to know to be properly informed about
planning your family memorial with Better Place Forests
What does Better Place Forests offer me?
Better Place Forests creates beautiful, permanently protected forests where families can spread the cremated ashes of loved ones under memorial trees, reserved just for them.
If you’re choosing cremation and you want a beautiful, natural location where your family can visit and you can be remembered, Better Place Forests is an ideal option for you.
Why is this different from spreading ashes on my own?
When you choose Better Place Forests, you’re creating a multi-generational memorial where your family can always return to visit. You get the peace of mind of knowing that the forest will never be redeveloped, and that your private spreading area will be reserved for your family forever.
Many families consider public parks or private property for their ash spreading, but they choose Better Place Forests instead so they have an easy-to-visit memorial that leaves a legacy for future generations.
What is the forest like to visit?
Our forests provide the ideal setting for visiting the memorial of someone you love. They’ve been enhanced with gentle paths and benches, ample parking, and a Visitation Center with restrooms.
Our vision is for every person who visits our forests to be amazed at the peaceful, serene, and beautiful setting. Our forests are ideal locations for people to truly remember family members who have passed.
What is the spreading ceremony?
Returning to the earth is important for many people who choose Better Place Forests. A family can either spread their loved ones’ ashes with our guidance, or our staff can do it for you.
While ashes are inert, they’re slightly more alkaline than natural forest soil. Before ashes can be spread, we re-naturalize them by mixing them with local soil and a soil acidifier to match the pH balance of the soil surrounding the tree. The ashes are then blended into the topsoil around your reserved tree. This process ensures your ashes can truly nurture the tree.
Are my pets allowed in my family memorial?
Yes! We believe pets are an important part of your family and should be included in your family memorial.
Pets can only be included in trees that you’ve reserved exclusively for you and your family (our Private & Family Trees.)
Where is your first forest located?
Our first spreading forest is located in Mendocino County, about 2.5 hours north of San Francisco. It’s a beautiful redwood forest with views of the Pacific Ocean. We’ve chosen this forest because of its natural beauty and proximity to the Bay Area.
Are you opening spreading forests in other locations?
Yes. We’re planning on opening additional spreading forests throughout California within the next 2-3 years.
All reservations made with us now are transferable to any other spreading forest we open.
Transfers will receive a credit for the full value of their tree.
Can I transfer my tree to one of your newer locations?
Absolutely. If you decide you’d prefer any of our other forest locations, you can transfer your memorial to that location, with a full credit of the value, as long as no ashes have been spread beneath your memorial tree.
If you’ve made a deposit to secure our Design Phase pricing, your discount will still apply to the new location.
Why did you start Better Place Forests?
We started Better Place Forests because of our own desire to create a memorial for our families that we would want to visit.
We truly believe there is genuine desire for people to reconnect with nature and for people who choose cremation to create a natural memorial for their family to visit.
What types of trees exist in the forest?
In our forest in Mendocino County, we have a mixture of redwood, fir, pine, and tanoak trees, with varying numbers of each.
Each of our trees has been reviewed by our arborist to record its health, height, diameter, and species. When we reserve a tree for your family, we record the tree as taken and reserved in perpetuity for you.
When your tree eventually dies, we plant a new tree in its place.
What will the memorial markers look like?
Our memorial markers are round and bronze – very similar to what the United States Geological Survey uses to mark important locations. They’re placed on a 3+ foot piece of rebar with concrete at the base, so they won’t move over time. They’re raised slightly above ground level, so they won’t interfere with the natural forest views.
Is the land privately owned?
Yes. Our forests are privately owned and maintained and they’ll never be redeveloped.
Better Place Forests ensures that the forest is always accessible for you and your family to visit your tree. We also maintain the facilities on site (bathrooms, pathways, benches, etc.) to ensure every visit is comfortable and memorable.
Do you offer payment plans?
It’s our goal to make Better Place Forests affordable to everyone who would like to create a natural family memorial. We offer custom payment plans that work with your budget.
If you have any questions about how a payment plan would work for the option you’re most interested in, please fill out this short form and mention your interest in payment plans.
One of our advisors will be in touch with details.
Can I schedule a visit?
Yes! We can set up an appointment for you and your family to tour the forest, view the development plans, and meet our Forest Steward.
Please get in touch with us to schedule your forest visit.
Your Next Steps To Select Your Tree…
Fill out the short form below so we can send over the specifics for how you can visit the forest and select your tree.
Want to book your forest visit right away?
We require a fully refundable $250 deposit. Book your visit here.
GET 50% OFF & RECEIVE FIRST CHOICE OF TREE
Inquire about what option is right for your family.