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ABC Memorial Tree Program

Many organizations and city parks departments offer memorial tree dedication opportunities to their members and residents for the purposes of beautification and to honor the passing of loved ones. The American Botanical Council’s Memorial Tree Program offers a unique opportunity to dedicate a medicinal tree, symbolizing health and healing, or a shade or ornamental tree of special meaning to the donor or honoree.

Ornamental and shade trees are planted throughout ABC’s 2.5 acre property based on the need for shade or color as determined by the ABC garden department. ABC Gardener, Nathanael ‘Nate’ Sponseller plants all the medicinal trees in ABC’s Medicinal Tree Garden (see related article in HerbalGram1). This long, narrow garden along the southwestern edge of ABC’s property has become a regular part of ABC garden tours and has grown to more than 20 trees in less than four years.

Ten trees have already been dedicated on the grounds of ABC’s property: three eastern redbuds (Cercis canadensis, Fabaceae), and one each of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa, Fagaceae), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora, Magnoliaceae), Monterrey oak (Quercus polymorpha. Fagaceae), chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii, Fagaceae), lacey oak, (Quercus laceyi, Fagaceae), Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana, Rosaceae), and pomegranate (Punica granatum, Punicaceae). ABC currently has a number of other well-established trees available for dedication, including hawthorns (Crataegus monogyna and C. laevigata, Rosaceae), and ginkgos (Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgoaceae).

Each memorial tree is provided with a sandstone-colored Corian® plaque with the common and botanical names of the tree, its family, the name of the person being memorialized, and birth and death years. In addition, the tree is guaranteed the tender, loving care of Nate Sponseller, who is studying to become a certified arborist.

Dedicating a memorial tree is a beautiful way to honor a loved one both now and into the future as your tree flourishes and continues to grow on our grounds. For a complete list of options and prices, contact Aileen Truax, development director, at 512926-4900 ext. 120.

—Gayle Engels


1. Engels G. ABC Medicinal Tree Garden. HerbalGram. 2006;72:10.