How long has Life Forest been around?
Our Co-Founder, Mel, wanted to bury her mother in a place that she dreamed could exist, but did not. With that, Life Forest was established in 2019 and gained many of our necessary approvals that same year.
How old are the trees when you put them into the ground? Is it from seed or sapling or an actual mature tree that is placed on top of my cremated ashes or composted remains?
We only plant mature trees, young saplings and seeds have a much less chance of survival. Consider it a 'teenage' aged tree.
Do you offer fruit trees? If not, why not?
We are happy to accommodate any tree that you feel suits you best. Fruit trees however, need to be planted close to one another in order to actually produce edible fruit. So this may be a nice option if you wanted to create a 'family alcove'. Otherwise, a fruit tree is ornamental, which is ok too! The other thing to consider is that we have deer, moose, and the occasional brown bear that enjoy the forest. They may choose to nibble on your fruit... and there is not much we can do about that if they do.
How about maintenance, watering, pruning, and upkeep of the tree?
We have an onsite groundskeeper that waters the trees. Pruning and direct maintenance of the tree is performed only by our Tree Doctor Theresa as well as Darren the owner of the tree nursery we use.
What happens if the tree dies?
If your tree dies within the first 5 years of planting we will replace it, of course we see signs of planting stress much sooner than that - so if your tree is not thriving we work with you to decide if you would like the tree replaced sooner. As you are aware - someday all trees will die. When that stage of life happens for your tree, then your beneficiary has the rights to replace it with the same type of tree.
How Does Life Forest Protect Your Burial Trees from Alkaline within Ash Cremains?
We bury ash cremains 18 inches below the root ball of the freshly planted tree and add 4 cu feet of rich compost material as a growth buffer. Due to the fact that tree roots grow side to side, not downwards, the 18 inch buffer of nutrient rich soil renders cremains harmless to your memorial tree. The rich compost material that we use is created by Darrin, our tree expert, and owner of StoneFalls Gardens.
What type of biodegradable Urns do you offer?
We searched out a biodegradable urn option that would nourish the memorial tree as it biodegraded. The answer came in the form of wool. Wool in fact, upon biodegrading, becomes a natural rich compost for the burial tree, releasing sulphur, nitrogen, and magnesium.
We offer a beautiful wool burial shroud. We create a beautiful wool cremation burial shroud made of 100 percent wool. In essence, wrapping your loved one in warm comfort.
How much does it cost to purchase a burial plot before I die?
You can purchase a pre-need burial spot at the same exact rates that we sell the immediate need burial plots. Pre need burial plots are a wonderful way to make sure that your family knows exactly where you would like to be. When someone purchases a pre-need burial plot they receive a legal document which they can place with their trust lawyer. The document is called a Certificate of Interment Rights. It is the same exact approach traditional cemeteries use. We wanted to ensure that people were legally protected, and the best way to make sure that they were was to follow cemetery law. Your pre-need plot is also deed-recorded with your name as owner of that plot - and that plot is defined and recorded in real world latitude and longitude coordinates so there will never be a mistake of where that exact spot is. We did not want to rely on antiquated hand drawn cemetery maps. Also, we place a post and marker in the pre-need spot that you purchase. It states that you own that spot, what the exact coordinates are (just in case ANYONE ever moves that post we know exactly where it should be), as well as a QR Code that links to a cause that you are passionate about. We also make sure that your beneficiary is listed on the deed record, so whomever you wish to join you can.
Do I have to pay the full price upfront?
Yes. However, if cost is an issue we do work with people to divide up the payments. However, the deeded plot record will not be chosen or assigned until full payment is made.
Is there a yearly land tax or Government tax?
Life Forest is responsible for the yearly property tax. That expense is built into our pricing. No one wants any extra cost surprises, that is unfair.
Who owns the land once I buy a burial plot?
The land is owned by Life Forest, your plot is recorded on our deed as owned by you.
How many years do I own my burial plot?
Once you purchase the plot we record the exact burial coordinates as well as who is buried within those coordinates and who owns the spot. That plot belongs to you and after you pass, then the plot is passed on to your named beneficiary. Your named beneficiary is also deed recorded. That spot is yours forever.
Can families reserve entire burial plots together?
Absolutely! That is the idea! You can purchase a large tree to allow several family members to be together, or we can help you to create an 'alcove' of trees where families can be buried beside one another. The choice is personal and there is no wrong answer.
What can I do on my burial plot? Can I build a wall? Can I erect a fence? Can I place a bench? Can I put a hanging swing on my tree?
We provide you with all rules and regulations, they are simple, but important. Life Forest strives to be and grow into a natural living forest. For the enjoyment of all we do not allow items such as garden gnomes, etc. Building a wall or a fence would not fit well in a natural forest. We strive to be reasonable, however, we also ensure that we adhere to the mission of creating a natural sacred space that all can enjoy.
Is the deeded lot a government deed or a privately issued deed?
The plots are recorded as an addendum to the land deed, showing ownership. They are not separate deeds created. See Burial Plot Data Sheet.
Is there a yearly maintenance fee?
How do I know the land won't be purchased, or repurposed for another business?
This is why we went through all of the approvals and steps to be recognized as a legal cemetery in the State of New Hampshire. We are recorded as one in the Vital Record Department as well of course, so that Funeral Director's can select us as a legal place of internment. Therefore, any change of use must be filed through the state of New Hampshire, and one must work to legally Decommission the cemetery through the State of New Hampshire. This process was created by the state of New Hampshire to be virtually impossible to do and extremely, extremely expensive, rendering the property of zero value for change of use. Here are the stated laws around that:
289:17 Removal of Monuments. – The monuments, gravestones, and other appurtenances attached to the graves shall be carefully removed and properly set up at the place of reinterment with as little injury as the nature of the case will admit. In case of injury to any monument, gravestone, or appurtenance, the damages shall be assessed by the governing body in the same manner and with the same right of appeal as in the case of alteration of the grade of highways. Source. 1994, 318:2, eff. Aug. 7, 1994.
289:16 Reinterment. – The governing body may, at the expense of the municipality, disinter all the remains of persons buried in such cemetery and reinter the same in the unoccupied part of another cemetery within the municipality, such reinterment to be in the place designated by the nearest surviving relatives of the deceased persons or, in the absence of such surviving relative, by the cemetery trustees. Such removal and reinterment shall be done prudently and with proper care and attention. Source. 1994, 318:2, eff. Aug. 7, 1994.
289:15 Discontinuance. – Whenever there is a public necessity for the discontinuance of any municipal cemetery and the removal of the remains of persons buried in such cemetery, the cemetery may be discontinued by a 3/4 vote of the legal voters present and voting at any town meeting held for the purpose, or by 3/4 of each board of the city councils present and voting.Source. 1994, 318:2, eff. Aug. 7, 1994.
How many years will you be guaranteeing the management and maintenance of the land?
We are growing the forest in approximately 1-acre sections. We are focusing on each of these sections, ensuring their success prior to moving on to the next section. Once we are certain that the burial area has grown successfully and all of the trees are thriving - then we will move into the next burial phase area. We are not aiming for this to be grown into a groomed English Garden style space. We are aiming for a natural forest.