A tree is a living, breathing thing. It is something which cannot always be controlled, and which should be given careful attention. A common concern about using a Bios Urn® is the concern about whether or not the tree will grow. Naturally, this is a founded concern, as planting a Bios Urn ® is a very important thing, especially in what it represents. While there is never a guarantee in nature, there are things we can do to make sure that whatever tree you choose, grows beautifully and healthily!
The patented design of the Bios Urn ® has been tested for over 20 years at this point, and was made to hold ashes and provide a nutrient-rich base for the tree to grow. The lower portion of the Bios Urn® holds the ashes, and the upper portion holds an expansion disc which works as a growth medium to protect the roots, and provide vitamins and minerals that are essential for growth.
Above all, this information is here to accompany you in what may be a very difficult time of your life. You may sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the information surrounding planting your Bios Urn ®, just take it step by step. It’s actually pretty simple once you know what you would like to plant. Thinking about, researching and sourcing your own seeds can become part of the beautiful journey of returning a person back to nature, it becomes part of the grieving process. So take your time. All of our urns can be stored indefinitely with or without ashes until you are ready (just keep it in a dry cool place).
Taking the time to research and choose a tree or plant that will thrive
The Bios Urn ® works with any kind of seed or seedling! There are literally no exceptions. You can therefore use your own by sourcing it directly yourself, and therefore choose a tree which is sentimental and meaningful to you. Fruit trees, flowering trees, evergreens or conifers are all completely compatible. That said, it is important to choose a native tree species or one which is common / suitable to your location, to respect the ecological balance and ensure better growth. So be sure to check with a local gardening store or horticulturist for information on native tree species in your area.
Tree guides are available on our website for many worldwide regions.
We have also published articles for some commonly found tree types around the world which provide additional planting information:
Red Maple (hardiness zones 3-9)
Sawtooth Oak (hardiness zones 5-9)
Ponderosa Pine (hardiness zones 3-7)
Honey Locust (hardiness zones 4-9)
Dawn Redwood (hardiness zones 5-8)
Tree of Life (hardiness zones 5-9)
If you choose to plant one of these tree types, please be sure to read these guides and planting instructions. If you are using another type of seed not listed here (and there are many!), be sure to find out the planting instructions for that particular type before planting it as this is essential to give your tree the best chance of growing.
If you would prefer a species which is more low maintenance, we would recommend a smaller tree species, shrub, or bush instead of a tree. Here are some recommendations:
Deciding on whether to grow from seed or not
The Bios Urn ® can be planted with:
- · seeds
- · a seedling
- · a sprout
- · a sapling
- · a small tree
Even though a lot of content shows a tree growing from seed, it is in no way limited to seeds only. You can read about the pros and cons of each here!
If you do decide to plant seeds in your biodegradable tree urn, there are a few things you should know before planting.
For a seed to grow into a living tree or plant, it must germinate, which is the process by which a dormant seed begins to sprout and grow into a seedling under the right growing conditions. Growing a tree or plant from seed is a wonderful miracle of nature. For your tiny seeds to become a huge majestic tree, you need to make sure that you understand the needs of your chosen plant and the environment in which they are grown. For this, firstly get good quality seeds and secondly, they will likely need a bit of treatment before getting started. Treatment can vary, but generally takes about 1-6 weeks before the actual plantation in a tree urn. Read what to do to germinate a tree from seed here.
If you decide to plant a young tree and the root ball is larger than the upper capsule width of the urn, you can still plant together and the Bios Urn ® will still work in the same way. Simply dig a deeper hole, water the hole and plant the urn following the planting instructions (filling all remaining air gaps inside the urn with soil from where you are planting). Cover the sides and top of the urn with more soil, water the hole again and moisten the rootball. Plant the tree on top of the urn.
Waiting for the appropriate planting season
The Bios Urn ® should be planted during an appropriate season, with most trees is would be around the fall, although this timeline could differ depending upon the weather in your region. It’s best to plant during moderate temperatures. Keep in mind that planting any living thing – whether it be a tree or a plant, should be done so that it matches the natural cycles of growth in your area.
If you live in a location with severe temperatures, a good option would be to plant the Bios Urn ® indoors, in a planter, or in the Bios Incube® Lite! If your tree has been planted outdoors, please be sure to protect it from Winter frost! Planting in a container or garden pot is a great idea, and the tree can easily be transplanted during a more temperate season, or even when it has matured a bit more (generally around 18-24 months.)
The Bios Incube® Lite is a planter that allows you to grow a tree using the remains of their loved one, right in your own home. It was designed to fit all of our urns perfectly and plant them close to you. Both the Bios Urn® and the Bios Urn Pets® work in perfect conjunction with our container: the Urn is planted seamlessly into the planter. It is perfect for those who wish to wait for the appropriate season or those who simply lack a natural space to plant their tree urn, live in temporary locations, or prefer to have an indoor tree. Read our planting instructions here.
Preparing your seeds (if you are growing from seed)
If you choose to grow your tree from seed, it will need a bit of extra care before planting the seed in the soil. Make sure you read our tips here.
Seed guides are available on our website for all the seed choices that we offer. Each seed packet comes with over 10 seeds, allowing you to use a few – and keep leftover ones for additional planting! If you choose to use one of our seeds, please be sure to read the guides and planting instructions.
Here is our step by step planting guide which explains what you should do when planting your tree urn.
If you are planting in a container, make sure you have the right potting mix to hand. Potting mix used for general purposes or for mature plants in containers, will not necessarily be suitable for seeds. A seed starting medium will usually need to have a finer texture than a typical all-purpose compost or potting mix. The texture and structure of the mix must remain moist, yet not too wet to prevent waterlogging and compaction.
The most sustainable option is often to simply make your own seed starting mix. For most seeds, the below mixes both work well:
- · Generally a 50/50 mixture of compost and vermiculite work well.
- · You can also do 1/3 compost, 1/3 leaf mold and 1/3 garden soil.
Compost is an organic soil amendment that looks and feels like soil. You can make your own or buy it from any gardening store.
Wherever you are planting, also consider putting some mulch around the base of your tree or plant once it’s been planted. Mulch is a highly effective way to keep the soil from drying out quickly, especially during excessive heat. Applying mulch 2-4 inches deep (5-10 cm) will help conserve moisture and regulate the soil temperature.
Caring for your tree or plant
It can be done by anyone with the right TLC, you definitely do not need to be a gardening expert.
Whether you choose to use seeds, or a small baby seedling, both will be dependent upon the care you provide. Planting seeds or a seedling and not caring for them in their first year of growth, can stunt or stop their growth – even if you start with an established tree.
During the 18 months, trees require basic TLC, mainly in the form of sunlight and water requirements. These differ from tree to tree, but most have similar ones for the first year. As a general rule, trees should be protected over winter, and most prefer to grow in half sun, or indirect sun (too much shade, or too much sunlight can be bad.)
Saplings and young trees are still establishing their root systems and therefore need more water. Water newly planted trees once a day for the first couple of weeks after planting, and once a week after that during the growing season. Remember to check the soil to ensure you are not over watering though. One of the most common watering mistakes is actually too much water! The best way to determine when your tree needs water is to check the soil. What you’re aiming for is moist — not soggy — soil. In the absence of rain or moisture, check the soil with a garden trowel to a depth of two inches (5 cm). If the soil is dry to the touch, your tree needs water.
So be sure that the tree’s sun and water requirements are met! If you are unsure what these requirements may be, have a look online and reach out to a local gardening store.
We take the Bios Urn®, and the experience it provides to others very seriously. We must remember that trees are living things, and they are beautiful. To grow a beautiful tree, with or without a Bios Urn®, we need to make sure it has the basic care and love it needs.
When one gets things right, it can be a truly rewarding experience, even therapeutic. We sincerely hope your Bios experience is as special as you imagined it and we are here at [email protected] to answer any questions you may have during this process.
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