Cemetery/burial sites


i would like to know where in Massachusetts you can be buried as ashes w/seeds for a tree or natural burial?

Hi there,

Thanks for your question, Nancy.

1) Burying cremated remains in a forest is really easy so you're in luck - you can bury cremated remains anywhere on any private property, with permission from the landowner. There is no public health OR environmental reason to track the burial of cremated remains - they are benign, the cause of death has already been determined, and you can send them into space or put them in glass, or bury in the forest, as you will.

2) We NEVER recommend planting seeds with cremated remains. First, trees rarely germinate from seeds and those that do often have a hard time surviving (that's why trees make so many seeds!!). It's no fun when a tree planted in someone's memory fails to thrive, so we suggest a LOT of care goes into selecting, and then tending, a tree like this.

3) If you want a tree associated with a burial, plant a 2-3 year old sapling - in the FALL!!! - and bury the cremated remains NEXT to it, NOT UNDER IT. Cremated remains are not that nutritious - they're more like a condiment (unless you mix them into the soil) and the tree will be much happier growing into them if they're a little off to the side.

If you want to be buried in a cemetery, ask the cemetery you LIKE if they'll bury cremated remains in association with a tree sapling. Many don't yet, but many ARE thinking about it, and some of them might say yes.

Failing that, visit links like the ones I've listed here to see the names of cemeteries in the area that may accommodate what you want...

Natural End Map

Green Burial Council

My own cemeteries accept cremated remains from anywhere in the world. We have different natural programs getting started for tree, fern and living plant memorials, so if you're ever interesting in burial in Oregon you can contact us for more information about our offerings as they get underway.


Hope that helped!



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Cynthia Beal


Typical questions include 1) Where can I go for a natural burial? 2) What types of coffins, urns and other "packaging" are best for natural decomposition? 3)How do I plan for a natural funeral? 4) Do I have to be embalmed? and other questions like this. I'm available to answer general consumer questions about natural burial, home and natural funerals, and sustainable cemetery management. I answer questions about general cemetery matters as well as natural burial, and offer suggestions about how to deal with remains, cremated or buried, interment rights, rules for cemeteries and plot owners, covering conventional as well as alternative options. I also answer questions from professionals, home funeral guides, and family members about how to manage a natural funeral either in the mortuary or at the home, how to best use natural coffins and urns, and how to convert cemeteries to natural, sustainable practices. I will answer questions from volunteer cemetery managers about how to offer natural burial in their rural, Pioneer, or non-profit cemeteries. If I don't know an answer I'll refer the questioner to someone who does. DISCLAIMER -- I am a certified pre-need sales person in the State of Oregon. I am not a licensed attorney, tax adviser, estate planner, funeral director, embalmer, accountant, public official, or any other professional that may be associated with issues the question brings up and any answers I provide should not be relied upon if such expertise is required by the asker (as per the All Expert suggestion). I provide my own personal opinions, based on my experience in business, Nature and its systems, and with human beings after 55 years of life on the planet.


Natural burial and sustainable cemetery management experience: I'm the founder of the Natural Burial Company and a member of the Cemetery Association of Oregon. Over 25 years in the natural products industry, and over a decade of running the Natural Burial Company, founded in 2004. I've done some consulting for existing and start-up natural cemetery operations. I'm currently an instructor at Oregon State University, facilitating the creation of a program in sustainable cemetery management and stimulating research in cemetery-oriented processes and functions, and I own two historic cemeteries the feature natural burial, based in Oregon.

American Cemetery Magazine; Funeral Business Advisor; Real Goods Source Book; American Funeral Director Magazine, etc.

There is no degree in natural burials or funerals, and no accredited education provided for sustainable cemetery management. We're developing a program at Oregon State University but it hasn't fully launched yet.

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