Memorial Rock & Tree Info
Here are questions that are commonly asked about our replica natural rock and tree memorials and cremation urns:
• How are the memorial rocks and trees manufactured and shipped?
• How many years will the memorials last?
• Do the memorial rocks and trees require special care?
• Is there a manufacturer's product guarantee?
• How are the memorial rocks and trees colored?
• What choice of natural colors are available?
• Can the memorials be ordered with a cremains urn?
• What if we need an urn for two individuals' cremains?
• We already have an urn. Will it fit inside the memorial's urn?
• Does the memorial's price include the custom bronze plaque?
• Who determines the plaque layout? What if a mistake on the plaque is our fault?
• Is it possible to see a proof of the plaque layout before it is cast?
• What about companion plaques?
• What advice do you have for the plaque epitaphs?
• How many days before we receive my order? How will it be shipped?
• Our family has our ceremony in two weeks. Can we receive the memorial sooner?
• We ordered a memorial with an urn. How are the cremated remains and/or keepsakes placed inside it?
• Should we worry about possible theft of our memorial rock or tree?
How are the memorial rocks and trees manufactured and shipped?
The rugged castings are hollow, approx. one-inch thick, and open at the bottom. The rocks are 50-60 lbs., but are exact replicas of ones that weigh 800-1,000 lbs. The trees are 40-70 lbs. All are manufactured from construction-grade GFRC cast stone to withstand freeze-thaw conditions and 9,000 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure. They are shipped either to the funeral home, cemetery, monument company or direct to the family via FedEx Ground in 350-lb. test, double-walled corrugated boxes using an industrial foam-in-place packaging system.
How many years will the memorials last?
Due to modern high-performance polymers and other scientifically-developed, construction-grade admixtures, our cast stone replications are designed to last for generations--even in freeze-thaw conditions and in the face of mowers, watering and trimming--and typically wear in the same manner as, or superior to, natural rock.
The memorial rocks in particular are actually one of the few products that will look better with age as the elements (i.e., rain, sun and snow) give them an even more lifelike, weathered appearance with each passing year.
It’s important to note that a national expert in the restoration of historical monuments made from marble and granite such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (who represents the firm that did most of the artifact restoration for the HMS Titanic) has estimated GFRC cast stone products will last 100-150 years before requiring any restoration work. In fact, he said that is about the same duration after which monuments made from other materials such as marble and granite need work.
Do the memorial rocks and trees require special care?
The replicated rock and tree memorials are made to last outdoors for generations without any special maintenance or care, whether located in high humidity, extreme heat or freeze-thaw conditions.
Is there a manufacturer’s product guarantee?
A 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is offered for the lifetime of each memorial if the craftsmanship is found to be defective in any way (with the exception of naturally-occurring adjustments in color). Customers with a valid defective craftsmanship claim will receive an immediate replacement with an identical product once the product is returned and the claim is confirmed.
How are the memorial rocks and trees colored?
Since detailed molds for the memorials are tediously taken from actual rocks and trees found in nature, our customers expect that the color process used for them match the realism of the replica castings.
Their demand for quality is met by skilled craftsmen who enhance the cast stone with permanent natural shades using a proprietary coloring process which requires no special maintenance in the future. (In fact, as previously mentioned, customers are usually pleased to learn the three basic colors of the memorial rocks will actually appear more lifelike over the years with the helpful affects of the natural elements such as the sun, snow and rain).
What choice of natural colors are available?
There are three natural colors to choose for the rocks: Slate Gray (popular in the Midwest and East Coast areas of the United States), Sandstone and Red Rock. Examples of these colors are available elsewhere on the website. The trees are offered in a choice of Gray and Red-Brown bark colors.
Can the memorials be ordered with a cremains urn?
Yes, for an additional charge, our memorials can be ordered with a 250-cubic-inch, moisture-resistant internal receptacle for cremains already manufactured into it (a double/companion urn is also available). The thick, industrial-grade polyvinyl chloride urn and threaded cap are accessed from under each model and opened and closed by hand so the cremains can be placed inside.
Click Here for an illustrated cross-section of what the urn looks like inside one of our models (a separate window will pop-up).
What if we need an urn for two individuals' cremains?
Make this request at the time of ordering and, for an additional charge, the internal moisture-resistant, 250-cubic-inch urn will be extended to double the size so it can hold two sets of cremains. Please note the double urn will normally further extend below the bottom of the memorial and will therefore require a small hole be excavated into the soil directly underneath where it is going to be finally placed so that the urn rests easily inside it.
We already have an urn. Will it fit inside the memorial's urn?
Although the memorials are designed for those who haven't otherwise already purchased an urn, the internal receptacle ordered for a rock or tree will accommodate another urn measuring no more than 5" (W) x 5" (L) x 8" (H).
Does the memorial's price include a bronze plaque?
All memorials include a handsome standard-sized bronze plaque measuring 7 1/2" (W) x 5" (H). Rock models MR1 through MR6 and MR9-MR10 can be special-ordered to accept a 11" (W) x 8 1/2" (H) plaque. The standard plaque can feature your choice of up to 10 lines of text with as many as 46 characters per line while the larger plaque can fit up to 18 lines of text with as many as 70 characters per line (typically a name, date of birth-death, and special verse or quote).
It's not necessary that all lines be used if you prefer to have less text appear on the plaque. Please be aware of the maximum number of characters per line (each letter, number, space and punctuation is a character that should be counted in this per-line total).
Remember the more characters and words on each line, the more the individual characters and available number of lines must be reduced in size to fit the final layout. As an example, if the first two lines of text are a person's name and date of birth-death, they will usually be in larger letters which will reduce the number of lines and amount of space for additional text.
Who determines the plaque layout? What if a mistake on the plaque is our fault?
We reserve the right to determine the style, size, capitalization and layout of the text provided according to the plaque space available to ensure the most professional appearance possible unless a specific request is received from a customer for a particular layout at the time of ordering. Most importantly, we are not responsible or liable in any way for misspellings or errors in fact contained in the information submitted by customers.
Is it possible to see a proof of the plaque layout before it is cast?
Absolutely! We will provide a proof of the plaque layout for your approval, usually by fax, before it is sent to the foundry for casting.
What about companion plaques?
Companion plaques can be ordered for an additional charge with or without date scrolls and drilled or tapped holes depending on whether one, both or neither of those named on the plaque are still living as explained in the choices below. See elsewhere on this website for examples of companion plaques and contact us for pricing depending on the option chosen.
When ordering either replacement scrolls or new scrolls (to be installed in a space on the plaque that has already been drilled and tapped in the past), we will need to confirm the exact locations of the drilled holes so the foundry matches them exactly. This can be done by sending the entire plaque back to us or the foundry or placing a piece of paper over the existing holes as a template and carefully marking them for distance on it before mailing the template to us for processing of the new scroll order.
• If both individuals are still living:
1). We can drill, tap and leave empty the spaces under their names for when a scroll is ordered in the future, or
2). We can drill, tap and install scrolls with their date of birth only, but no date of death, to be replaced later one-by-one or together with scrolls containing the complete information as needed.
• If one individual is living and one has already departed:
1). We can drill, tap and leave empty the space under the name of the person still living (for when a scroll is ordered in the future) while drilling, tapping and installing the date of birth and death scroll for the individual who has already departed, or
2). We can drill, tap and install a scroll with the date of birth only, but no date of death, for the person still living (to be replaced later by a scroll with the complete information when needed) while drilling, tapping and installing the date of birth and death scroll for the individual who has already departed.
• If both individuals are departed:
1). No scrolls are needed since the dates of birth and death will be cast into the original plaque.
What advice do you have for the plaque epitaphs?
As much as someone is loved, recalling what made them special and summarizing those feelings after their death into a maximum of 10 lines of text can be challenging. However, experts agree that the process of writing a loved one's epitaph can often actually be comforting and essential to a normal grieving process.
Even today, many individuals will still simply put a person's name and dates of birth and death on a plaque or monument. However the generous amount of space on the plaque included with each rock and tree allows for a more detailed, meaningful expression of remembrance and we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to let those viewing it in future years gain a better sense of the loved one's personality and what he or she meant to surviving friends and family.
It is helpful to gather thoughts for the bronze plaque from friends or family face-to-face, on the phone or by e-mail. Their collective memories are certain to make it easier to create an epitaph that portrays the essence of the individual who has departed.
How many days before we receive my order? How will it be shipped?
Once your order is received, please allow 4-5 weeks days for production and installation of the bronze plaque and 3-5 business days for shipping depending on its final destination in the United States (longer if elsewhere).
Since they can weigh between 40-70 lbs., all memorial rocks and trees are carefully packaged in 350-lb. test double-wall corrugated boxes using an industrial foam-in-place system to protect them during transit. They are then shipped via FedEx Ground.
Our family has our ceremony in two weeks. Can we receive the memorial sooner?
Absolutely! Customer sometimes ask that their memorial rock or tree be shipped before the plaque has had time to be cast by the bronze foundry. In that case, it is possible for the memorial to arrive in as early as 6-8 business days from the order date when requested by the customer.
If a ceremony is scheduled and a customer wants to have a temporary plaque visible in the chiseled inset of the memorial for the event, at no charge a computer-generated replica bronze plaque on photo paper can be shipped along with the order. The temporary plaque will have the exact same text as the original which will arrive separately within the normal 4-6 weeks.
Please note that, although there is no charge for the replica plaque, there is an additional $20 charge for separately shipping the original plaque--once it has been cast by the bronze foundry--and a tube of epoxy adhesive (with installation instructions).
We ordered a memorial with an urn. How do we place the cremains and/or keepsakes inside it?
If a model with an urn was ordered, before installing the cremains and/or keepsakes place the memorial rock or tree on a soft surface such as carpet, towel or other padding. (Please remember, the manufacturer is not responsible for any damage to the memorials when customers unpack or place them).
The memorial should then be gently turned over to access the urn receptacle underneath it. Next, as added protection against any moisture getting inside the urn, the role of Teflon Threaded Seal Tape that is shipped with memorial rocks and trees ordered with an urn should be wrapped four or five times in a clockwise direction (while looking at the urn opening) over itself on the threads located at the bottom of the cremation urn near the hollow opening.
Once the cremains have been placed inside the urn, the white threaded cap can be hand-tightened onto the end of the urn. (Note: If a family is concerned about complete security of the urn's contents, a tube of epoxy adhesive can be purchased in advance from a hardware or home improvement store and applied to the threads of the cap which will make it nearly impossible to unscrew the cap again without uncommon and destructive force).
Depending on the rock or tree model chosen, once the urn is tightened together it is normal for it to extend out from the bottom of the memorial which simply requires that a small hole be excavated directly underneath where it is going to be finally placed so that the urn rests easily inside it.
Click Here for an illustrated cross-section of what the urn looks like inside one of our models (a separate window will pop-up).
Should we worry about possible theft of our memorial rock or tree?
Once customers see how realistic the 40-70 lb. memorials look, they often agree it's unlikely anyone is going to bother with what appears to b, say, e a natural 800 lb. natural rock that would require incredible effort to move.
However, if they feel it's necessary in their neighborhood, we will suggest the use of the heavy-duty metal eye bolt manufactured underneath each memorial rock and tree for anti-theft purposes. To use this feature, four items should be purchased from a local hardware or home improvement store: 1). An inexpensive key or combination lock, 2). A small sack of "just-add-water" quick-drying cement, 3). A five-gallon plastic bucket, and 4). A three-foot-long piece of sturdy 2/0 or 3/0 straight link chain (75 cents-$1 per foot).
A hole should then be dug directly below where the memorial will be finally placed. One end of the chain should be locked onto the metal eye bolt and the cement mixed in a bucket and then poured into the hole. The remaining length of chain should be pushed into the cement (with the memorial resting above the hole) where it can dry and become a concrete pillar and anchor.