When you visit our cemeteries during the winter months, you may notice that our grounds crew is busy removing some of our older oak trees. So far, about 200 trees have been removed and another 400 need to be removed – thanks to the cynipid gall wasp. These tiny wasps nest and reproduce in oak trees, resulting in the creation of gouty oak galls. Over time, the damage caused by these insects has led to tree death in most cases.
Our beautiful oak trees have provided ample shade and have served as landmarks for our visitors for more than 80 years! While it is sad to say goodbye to them, the team at Catholic Cemeteries makes this decision out of concern for the safety of our visitors. For every tree that is removed, two trees will be planted. A variety of fine trees will enhance the landscape in their place, including Purple Plum, Redbud, White Birch or Yoshino Cherry.
Our grounds crew is taking special care to protect memorials during this process. In necessary cases, a log is placed under a monument stone laid flat to prevent it from sinking into the ground under the weight of a felled tree. This also assists the crew in resetting the monument after the tree is cut down and hauled away. The wood from these oaks will be used for heating our maintenance buildings or ground into mulch and used elsewhere within our cemeteries. In the rare event that a memorial is damaged during this process, Catholic Cemeteries will repair or replace the memorial at no cost to the affected family. Please notify our staff immediately if this is the case.
A Memorial Tree Program has been established giving you the opportunity to purchase a Purple Plum, Redbud, White Birch or Yoshino Cherry tree for $380.00 in memory of your loved one. Every effort will be made to place the memorial tree as near to your desired site as possible. Should anything happen to your memorial tree in the future, it will be replaced by Catholic Cemeteries at no cost to you. Please contact the office at 314.792.7738 for more details.
Come visit us this winter and consider participating in our memorial tree program! Our welcoming, sacred grounds provide comfort and consolation and they encourage personal and family connections, displaying the beauty of our faith by demonstrating the blessed hope that awaits each of us.