This patent application describes how to use a human corpse to grow part of a copse:
“Corpse Treatment Method,” U.S. Patent Application 12/160,699, Evert Dirk Van Ramshorst, filed January 15, 2007.
“A new form of corpse treatment has also been developed: freeze-drying or lyophilization. In freeze-drying the body of the deceased is cooled to -18° C. The frozen body is then immersed in a bath of liquid nitrogen. The frozen body then becomes very fragile. By then subjecting it to vibrations, the body falls apart into a kind of powder from which the moisture is then extracted by means of vacuum. A dry, odourless powder with a weight in the order of 25 to 30 kg eventually remains.
“EP-A-0 623 717 proposes to have the ashes of the deceased taken up in a plant, usually a tree, so that a living monument is obtained as a memory of the deceased. The ash is here placed in the vicinity of roots of the plant. Washing of the ash out of the ground will however generally take place much more quickly than the absorption of the ashes by the plant, so that only a small part of the ash will actually be taken up into the living plant. It is an object of the invention to provide a method for corpse treatment wherein the greatest possible part of the bodily remains is absorbed into the plant.”
The search for this patent was inspired by David Brooks (the good David Brooks, not the one in the NY Times), when asked, in his blog, “Do maple trees near cemeteries have sap that tastes like corpses?”