When we tell the Treebute origin story, we talk about our friend who died May 21, 2020. This was a rough time for everyone. But when we got that phone call, it was a total punch in the gut. We wanted to find a unique expression of our love and sympathy to his family. It seemed the most appropriate way to honor our friend’s free-spirited nature and passion for the environment was with a long-lasting memorial tree gift.
Others in my friend group felt the same way; they wanted to GIVE something with sentiment and meaning too. I set out in search of this, the “1-800-Flowers of memorial trees”, because surely something like this existed, right?! I scoured the internet while I was struggling with my own grief. Why wasn’t there a full-service company that made it easy to order a meaningful memorial tree gift that included delivery and installation? If this was something I was looking for, surely others would want it too! But it was when his grieving family received their memorial tree that I knew we had indeed given the most meaningful expression of our love and support.
And that’s when Treebute was born.
Out of respect and privacy for his family, I almost never use our friend’s name when telling the story. However, I think he would be pleased that his memory lives on through Treebute’s mission of honoring the ones we love through planting memorial trees. His sister, Hillary, agrees. Therefore, please allow us to introduce you to Mr. Nathaniel Wood Olk. He was a man who fit a lot of life into his 39 years on this earth, and who wasn’t afraid to blaze his own nonconforming trail. He understood how incredibly blessed he was with his family and appreciated spending time with them. Nate possessed a sweet, gentle nature that people gravitated toward. And a fun-loving spirit that could bring a hermit out of it’s shell to dance along to one of his favorite songs. Nate is Treebute’s involuntary muse and guardian angel. He will forever be missed, but he won’t be forgotten as long as Treebute is around and telling our origin story.
“Nate was a lover of all nature, a true conservationist. It may feel a bit morbid to talk about, but I’m comforted knowing that Nate’s ashes are a part of the root system of our Treebute tree. He is part of the earth, near our family, and every time I see the cherry tree in our backyard it makes me smile and remember him. I can’t think of a more permanent way for family and friends to honor a loved one’s memory, and I’m confident that Nate would be humbled and honored to be part of Treebute”.
From Nate’s sister, Hillary