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How Cremation Ashes Can Become a Tree

There are many unique ways to memorialize a loved one that has died. If they loved spending time outdoors or had a commitment to protecting the environment, then committing their ashes to the earth and growing a tree from them is a lovely way to honour them.

In this post, we’ll explain how you can use a BiosUrn to bury your loved one’s ashes in a place they loved while benefitting the environment in the process. Learn more about Bios Urn below. 

What is Bios Urn? 

Bios Urn is a biodegradable urn that allows cremated remains of a human (or pet) to be turned into trees. A few tree urns on the market have slightly different processes. However, Bios Urn does this by combining a portion of ashes with seed or seedlings in a biodegradable container that is planted in the ground. Over time, the container decays and incorporates into the soil to grow a tree. 

The Bios Urn company was founded in 2001 by Gerald Moline and Roger Moline. However, the idea first stemmed from an experience Moline had in his childhood. He was gardening with his grandmother when she found a dead bird. She picked up the bird, buried it, and planted seeds on top. This allowed the bird to contribute to new life in its death. 

This memory stuck with Moline throughout the years, and the first prototype was created in 1997. These were made from wood and soil. However, the first working prototype did not come available until 2001 and became the first biodegradable urn on the market. It was made from paper and cellulose. It was also the first to introduce the concept of planting a tree with ashes. The Bios Urn is now made from 100 per cent recycled materials that are locally sourced. 

Since the release of the first prototype, the Bios Urn has had many accomplishments. In 2002, the Bios Urn was the winner of the ADI-FAD design award and was nominated as a finalist for the INDEX award as a “design to improve life.” During this time, the urn was also used to plant the remains of “Little Snowflake,” the world’s only known albino gorilla from Barcelona Zoo. His cremated remains later grew into a Cape Chestnut tree, an African pink flowering tree that can still be viewed today in the Barcelona Zoo.  

In 2013, Moline launched an internet startup to market the Bios Urn online and internationally. It was a success, and the company has grown in popularity and served customers in 47 countries and five continents. The company continues to grow and expand in popularity across the world. 

What is the process involved in turning human ashes into a tree? 

The success of the Bios Urn is due to the materials it is made from. It contains recycled paper, cardboard, vermiculite, and coco fibre. These materials are designed to decompose while also providing nutrients to aid in growth. 

The Bios Urn has two separate capsules. The lower capsule contains the ashes of your loved one. The upper capsule contains a soil expansion disc made from compacted coco fibre, vermiculite, wood chips, paper, and nutrients. The disc is designed to expand when watered to keep the roots moist and allow for the supply of nutrients.

The process begins with ordering the Bios Urn kit. It can be ordered from the Bios Urn website or through urn retailers. However, before ordering, it is good to start looking at the kind of seed or seedling you would like to use. You should consider the requirements needed for the tree or plant of choice to grow. This includes the season, required temperatures, space requirements, and more. It is also important to check local guidelines for planting trees or other plants in your area. 

The kit contains a Bios Urn, packing instructions, and a soil expansion disk. Upon receiving it, you can begin following the instructions. 

First, you can pour the ashes into the lower capsule. It is designed to contain all the ashes from your loved one. However, if you choose to use a portion, it is advised to fill the remainder of the capsule with soil from the surrounding area to avoid leaving an air gap inside the urn.  

Next, you can mix the seed of your choice in the upper capsule. Finally, you can close the urn and plant it in your location of choice. It is advised to plant it 3 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) from the soil’s surface. 

After the urn has been planted, your job is essentially done. You can now tend to the plant (if applicable) or wait for the ashes of your loved one to create an environmental fixture for you to admire and visit throughout the years. 

How much does the Bios Urn cost? 

The price for the Bios Urn depends on where and how you purchase it. It is available on, or you can order it online

Bios Urn for Human Ashes

The Bios Urn for Human Ashes has a capacity of 200 cubic inches, which means it can hold the volume of ashes from a human up to 200 lbs.

Bios Pet Urn

The Bios Pet Urn has a capacity of 110 cubic inches, which means it can hold the volume of ashes from a pet up to 110 lbs. If purchased from, it costs in the range of $130 to $150 CAD including shipping. 

What’s in a Bios Urn Kit?

The Bios Urn kits provide the tools to turn ashes into a tree or plant of choice. It contains a biodegradable urn. A soil disc and instructions.
A seed or seedling is usually not included. Ideally, you want to buy sugar maple seed or other domestic tree seed that will germinate in a Canadian climate. You can buy a seed or sapling of your choice for a few dollars from your local garden nursery.

Questions about the Bios Urn?

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