Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a question below to find out more information on that topic.

The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (GMCT) is the custodian of your Living Legacy Tree. GMCT is a Class A Cemetery Trust and has over 500 hectares of accessible, landscaped land for your Living Legacy Tree which is cared for in perpetuity by certified horticulturalists.

Legacy Forest locations are spread across 18 sites in Melbourne from the rolling Hills in Lilydale to creek and park front land in Altona and Fawkner.



You can choose from over than 30 varieties of European and Australian Trees when selecting your Living Legacy Tree in Melbourne.

Schedule a free consultation on-site with a certified horticulturalist to choose your tree, and leave a lasting impression that your family can enjoy for generations to come.

Examples of trees available in Melbourne include:examples-of-living-legacy-trees1

 GMCT certified horticulturists will provide ongoing care for the tree in perpetuity, meaning that your tree will always be looked after for future generations to enjoy.

Legacy Trees are typically between 5’and 6’ in height, the same size as a person when planted. Established trees provide greater longevity for new trees in the tough Australian climate.

“Research, conducted by Adelaide’s Centennial Park, found that 160 kilograms of carbon dioxide is produced on the day of a cremation[1]”.

Planting a single tree is generally enough to offset the carbon impact of cremation. For every Legacy Tree planted, we plant an additional 200 offset trees in your name locally and aboard to mitigate the impact of cremation plus contribute more oxygen than the average human breathes in a lifetime.

“Research, conducted by Adelaide’s Centennial Park, found that 160 kilograms of carbon dioxide is produced on the day of a cremation[1]”.

Planting a single tree is generally enough to offset the carbon impact of cremation. For every Legacy Tree planted, we plant an additional 200 offset trees in your name locally and aboard to mitigate the impact of cremation plus contribute more oxygen than the average human breathes in a lifetime.

Untreated cremated remains are not helpful to tree growth. In fact, independent laboratory tests showed 100% of seedlings died when planted directly in untreated cremated remains (ash).

Living Legacy uses a patented LL Thrivetm formula to transform cremated ashes into micronutrients which helps trees grow.

Biodegradable urns are exactly that… only the urn biodegrades The cremated remains can remain in a highly alkaline state for 1,000’s of years providing no sustenance for trees. At best, most trees will grow around the untreated ashes which tend to form into a salty clump or rock, at worst, the remains will actually harm tree growth.

Biodegradable urns come in many forms. The most affordable biodegradable urns are simply made of cardboard and the higher end urns are made of ceramic. Although the urn may be biodegradable, untreated cremated remains are not.

Independent laboratory tests showed 100% of trees planted in untreated cremated remains died from toxic shock, more modern urns bury the ashes below a seed compartment so the roots can grow around the ashes.


You may have noticed that all over the world, bones and cremated remains are often found at ruin sites sometimes 1,000’s of years old. The idea of bio urns is that the ashes create a tree, the science shows that the roots will grow around or through the cremated remains and in many cases harm the roots from the high pH and salinity levels.

Living Legacy Trees are unique in that the cremated remains are transformed into micronutrient elements small enough to be transported to tree roots using the LL Thrive formula. LL Thrive creates a living memorial and path for loved ones to connect to nature in your absence.

Through our extensive trials and research, we found that untreated cremated remains are harmful to plants due to high sodium levels and a high pH level. For plants to thrive, the soil they are planted in needs to have a pH of 5-6. However, cremated remains typically have a pH of around 11-12, which renders them highly toxic to plants. In our first round of clinical tests, 100% of our trees died when untreated ashes were mixed in with the soil in which they were planted*.

mary-cole-living-legacy-thrive-technology1 mary-cole-scientist-living-legacy-768x412

The Living Legacy patented formula transforms the structure of the ashes into micronutrient elements with a balanced pH. Micronutrient elements are small enough to be transported into the root system and nourish the tree.

Living Legacy uses an organic process that brings harmony to the natural cycle of life.

Beware of claims of growing trees from ashes, as in most cases it’s only the container in which the ashes are stored that actually biodegrades – untreated cremated remains do not naturally biodegrade and are harmful to the tree that grows from the container.

If the tree survives the cremated remains, it will do so only because its roots have grown around the ashes – not from them – meaning that your ashes are not actually a part of the memorial tree.

  • Is it a biodegradable urn or do the actual ashes become a nutrient?
  • Does the process just balance the pH? If so, the ashes won’t be toxic to the tree, but may not be absorbed by, and therefore become a part of, the tree as the molecules are many times too large to be absorbed by the tree’s roots.
  • If the tree is grown in a pot, how will the tree grow to full maturity? If a large tree is grown in a pot the roots will be forced to grow in a circle strangling the tree and prohibiting healthy tree growth. Arborists call this ‘pot bound’.
  • If it’s to be kept at home what happens when the home is sold? The average length of home ownership in Australia is less than 10 years.

Even with the highest level of care respect and science some trees will have natural attrition. We plant grown trees at around 5’-6’ in height, around the same size as a person to provide established longevity for the tree.

All living things have a natural life-span, and this is also true of Living Legacy Trees. Each variety of tree has a different life expectancy, and this is something you can discuss and consider when meeting with a Greater Melbourne Cemetery Trust horticulturalist when choosing your memorial tree.

Living Legacy Trees will be cared for by qualified horticulturalists in perpetuity, meaning that they will have the utmost care and attention. However, in the unlikely event that your Living Legacy Tree dies before its natural life term, your family will be notified, and the tree will be replaced by the site operator. Your local cemetery trust will be able to advise of your trees agreed natural life term.

When the tree dies after its natural life span, the family will be notified getting the first right to re-plant in the same location. Depending on the circumstances, there may be an opportunity to take part of the t original tree home as a keepsake.

LL.Thrive provides active energy to the tree for up to 3 years. If the tree dies within this time frame, it can be replaced in the same location and still absorb some of the LL Thrivetm.


You can select and plant a tree today that grows as part of your family history. Your tree can be nourished with the micronutrients from your ashes later on. Up to four additional family members can be added to the Legacy Tree making it a real family tree.


The treated ashes of up to 4 people can nourish each Legacy Tree, with the LL Thrive formula being able to be infused into the soil at the base of the tree at different times.

In this way, you’re Living Legacy tree becomes a process heirloom passed down through generations.

 We believe leaving a legacy is about choice not about price and upselling. All Legacy Tree varieties and all of the 18 locations in and around Melbourne are the same fixed price of $10,465 (GST free).

Up to 4 family members can be infused into a Living Legacy Family Tree.

Each Living Legacy Tree will be identifiable by a stunning Corten Steel Living Legacy ‘Light Path Earth Marker’. The markers are set to face east to catch the morning sun. As the sun rises, it will illuminate the marker, casting an impression on the Living Legacy Tree.

The Light Path Earth Marker makes identifying the tree by friends and family easy and acknowledges each person’s contribution to leaving the world a better place with trees.

living-legacy-memorial-tree-plaque1-300x201 living-legacy-memorial-tree-plaque-melbourne1-300x201

Friends  and family can connect to your Legacy Tree, social media profile and YouTube videos via the GenConnect App.


Friends and family can also add to your Legacy Forest Footprint by donating additional trees to be planted in Australia with our planting partner Greenfleet.

Register your tree preference and location.

If you live in or around Melbourne, you can make a free appointment to see a qualified horticulturalist at the location of your choice to discuss the Living Legacy tree that suits you. Take a look at the 18 available locations here to find the place that you would like to be remembered.

Share your preference with friends and family so they understand your wishes.

Secure your Living Legacy Memorial by paying the fee at the location of your choice.

If you do not reside in Melbourne, you can still register and we will let you know as soon as we become available in your city – it won’t be long! Your registration will help us know where to launch next.

If you would like your local cemetery provider to offer Legacy Trees please ask them to contact us at

If you’re not in Australia and want to be able to leave a Living Legacy in your city, contact us to arrange a customised Living Legacy memorial

You may have seen other alternative memorial options online or in the media that also offer trees as their memorial offering. However, it is important to understand the fundamental differences between them and Living Legacy. The table below outlines some of the major points of difference.

Ashes do not have a used by date, but cremation methods have changed over time.

The Living Legacy methodology has been proven to work with cremated ashes from the 1960’s.

Independent laboratory and plant pathologist Agpath Pty Ltd has painstakingly proven the LL.ThriveTM science through all seasons and a range of harsh Australian soils and seasons.

Dr Mary Cole has been selected by International Worldwide Branding Who’s Who as the Executive, Professional or Entrepreneur (EPE) of the year 2015-2016
“Our EPE distinction is reserved for members who demonstrate exemplary leadership skills and unwavering dedication to their profession.”

We prefer for Legacy Trees to be cared for by certified horticulturalists that can look after the tree for generations to come.

A tree planting ceremony is a sacred ritual undertaken by a certified horticulturalist following the Living Legacy guidelines.

It can typically be undertaken around 7 days from the cremation.

The 200 trees are planted locally and abroad with planting partners certified by the Legacy Stewards Council. The local trees are planted by not-for-profit planting partner, Greenfleet. Some of the forest Footprint goes towards forest protection in Borneo to protect the Orangutan population.

GMCT certified horticulturalist

Living Legacy Forest will be launching new sustainable cities after July 2016 where community’s register interest.

Living Legacy Forest Products

Living Legacy Forest offers the ability to commemorate through nature with trees.

Holistic Legacy

Living Legacy Tree

“Infuse your ashes into a tree”

Our patented technology combines natural processes to extract the beneficial minerals of cremated remains to support tree growth and honour the circle of life.

Learn More
Collective Legacy

Collective Legacy Forest

“200 tree memorial without infusion”

Choose to plant trees in memory of your loved ones. 200 trees planted locally and abroad, replaces the air a person breathes out across a lifetime, your forest footprint leaves a lasting, sustainable gift in return to the planet.

Learn More
Remembrance Gift Card

Legacy Giftcard

“A gift of trees in memory of your loved one”

Friends and family can create an enduring and meaningful commemoration by gifting 20 trees that is enduring and more meaningful than just flowers.

Learn More

In the Media

abc banksia-copy dailytmail-australia2 hearaldsun-copy intl-businesstimes2 leader-news2 pallativecare2 theproject-copy the-times-copyyerra

Register for more information

“It gave us absolute peace”

-Dianne Rich

“All of our daughters were able to plant their own Legacy Trees in their own place to continue the presence of their late mother who was a passionate gardener”

-Andrew Troedel

“If I was going to be cremated, I would choose to be a lemon scented gum.”

Jacqui Weatherill, CEO Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust

“My 15 year old god daughters planted the tree on Father’s day, a month after he passed away, and found  so much peace in the experience. 

Mishka King on behalf of the late William Francis Huff

“Some say: for the greater good of mankind, that’s not us, that’s generations to come”

Rob Gell, Environment advocate

“There is a very important connection between plants and people, if you’re planting a tree, it’s for the next generation, your not just planting it for yourself”

Tim Entwisle, Director Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens