FAQs
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Company Info

What is the mission of Better Place Forests?

"Our mission is to inspire everyone to leave a meaningful legacy for the planet and the people they love."

How did Better Place Forests get started?

Better Place Forests was founded in 2015 by Sandy Gibson, Brad Milne and Jamie Knowlton. Our CEO Sandy Gibson lost his parents at a young age and grew up going to a noisy urban cemetery in downtown Toronto. He knew there had to be a better solution. Read more of Sandy's story here.

Does Better Place Forests own the land?

Better Place Forests owns and maintains our forests. It's our goal to create meaningful memorials while conserving beautiful forests at the same time. By owning the forests, we can build infrastructure like visitors centers and restrooms, ensure proper forestry practices, and provide safe access for families and visitors.

Where is Better Place Forests headquarters?

We have team members working from each forest and our headquarters in San Francisco at 3717 Buchanan Street Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94123.

Where is Better Place Forests going to open new memorial tree forests?

We are always looking to add new forests in new regions. Check our social media channels for announcements.

Cremation

What information do you have on body donation programs?

Some body donation programs provide cremation for free and the ashes are returned after the study period which can range from one month to two years. Not all programs return ashes though, so make sure to ask!

If you donate your body to science, you can still use Better Place Forests for your memorial.

Does Better Place Forests offer cremation?

Better Place Forests does not provide cremation services. You can find trusted partners by searching for local funeral homes or crematorium or emailing us at [email protected].

Forest Details

Are the trees in the forest accessible by foot?

Yes! We maintain trails for you and your loved ones to easily navigate our forests. For those with limited mobility, we offer a motorized vehicle to some areas of the forest. If you have additional questions about accessibility, please ask your advisor during an online tour or email us at [email protected].

How big is the Better Place Forests Point Arena location?

Better Place Forests' Point Arena Forest is 20 acres in size. We intend to expand this forest if nearby land becomes available.

Where are Better Place Forests' locations?

Visit Our Forests for the most up-to-date list of forest locations.

We are always looking to add new forests in new regions. Check our social media channels for announcements.

What tree species exist in the Point Arena Forest?

There are three main tree species in the forest: Redwood, Douglas Fir, and Tanoak. Book an online tour to learn more.

How do the ashes and soil interact?

In approximately 2 years, depending on rainfall, the ashes will break down naturally in the soil. We work with a certified forester, arborist and hydrologist to design the appropriate ratio to mix ashes with soil. This helps match the pH balance of ashes to the local soil for spreading in our forests.

What does Better Place Forests do if my memorial tree dies?

No matter what your memorial tree’s lifespan is — whether it’s 250 years or 2,000 — we’ve got you covered. When your memorial tree eventually dies, we’ll plant a new tree in its place so your legacy continues. New trees will be from the same species and be planted in the same spot as your original tree.

What is the memorial marker?

The memorial marker is similar to survey monuments used by the US Geological Survey (USGS) to mark important geographical locations. Text on the marker can be customized per your wishes.

What happens in the event of a forest fire?

Our arborists practice responsible forest management to preemptively mitigate fire risk. If any of our forests are affected by a fire, we’ll restore and repair any damage caused and replant all impacted trees.

Can I transfer my tree to one of your newer forests?

Yes, you can transfer your tree to another forest for up to ten years after purchase as long as no ashes have been spread around your tree and your memorial marker has not been placed.

Forest Visits

Can I visit the forest?

We would love to host you at one of our forests! To schedule a visit, please fill out this form.

Do the forests have set visiting hours?

Visiting hours vary by forest. To schedule a visit, please fill out this form.

What can I expect during a visit to a Better Place Forests location?

Before your visit, one of our Forest Stewards will send you a list of accommodations, restaurants, and detailed directions to make sure that your visit to the forest is as comfortable as possible. When you arrive in the forest you'll be greeted by our forest stewards who will answer any questions and take you on a walking tour of the forest. Average tours last between 60-90 minutes and most families choose their tree during this visit.

Memorial Details

Can I personally spread the ashes during the spreading ceremony?

Yes. You are welcomed to personally spread the ashes of your loved one. A forest steward will always be present to support and can spread the ashes of your loved ones if you would prefer to not participate.

How many sets of ashes can I spread at my tree?

There isn't a specified limit to the number of ashes that can be spread at your tree. Talk to an advisor to learn more about memorial packages and the number of spreading rights each tree includes.

What is a spreading right?

Each memorial package comes with spreading rights which is the right to spread ashes at the base of your tree. (e.g. 2 spreading rights is the right to spread 2 sets of ashes). Schedule an online tour to talk to an advisor to learn more about memorial packages and the number of spreading rights each tree includes.

When do the ashes get spread, and can friends and family be present?

Yes, each memorial ceremony can be customized, including who is invited to attend.

Who spreads the ashes during the ceremony?

At each forest we have a forest steward who is a certified Cremated Remains Disposer. Most families request that this forest steward spread the ashes. However, we are happy to work with you to invite you and your loved to participate.

Can I spread my pets' ashes around my memorial tree?

Yes! We encourage the inclusion of pets in your memorial.

Pricing & Payments

How does Better Place Forests' pricing compare to traditional memorial options?

The average burial costs $8,755 per person. We offer a range of prices for any budget — at less than half the cost of a traditional burial.

How much does a Better Place Forests tree memorial cost?

Pricing for memorial trees is based on several factors, including: location, setting (views, water features, etc.), tree type and size, and the number of spreading rights. Learn more.

Can I pay off my Better Place Forests' payment plan early?

Yes, you may pay off your payment plan early without penalty. If you'd like to pay off your plan, email us at [email protected].

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we offer various plans that can work with your budget. Schedule an online tour to talk to an advisor and learn more.

Still have questions?
Reach out to our Care Team with any questions or feedback you have.