With 41 friedwald (peaceful forest) burial sites, Germany expects to add at least five more this year, according to FriedWald, the company that helps local governments manage the sites.
Trees are used as grave markers, with or without a plaque attached to the trunk. Ashes of the deceased are interned under the tree in a biodegradable urn.
Respecting the forest's natural state, there are no headstones, flowers or candles. "The circle of life from birth to death ends in the midst of mother earth," said Thomas Strege, a Lutheran pastor.
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