If you know where to look, you’ll find a touching landmark for deceased pets called The Furever Tree, hidden in a corner of New York City’s Central Park. Each Holiday season, this Christmas tree becomes a memorial, adorned with ornaments and tributes dedicated to furry family members who are no longer with us.
Pet owners from across the city congregate to this tree to hang personalized ornaments—photos, small toys, and handwritten notes that capture the spirit of their lost companions. As the 18-foot evergreen fills up, it transforms into a vibrant mosaic of love and memories, which also reflects the diversity of the pets, as well as their humans.
The tradition of decorating the tree starts after Thanksgiving and ends around Three Kings Day (Jan 6th), with many people visiting multiple times to add to their tributes or to simply feel a sense of connection with others who share their experience of loss.
The origin of the Furever Tree traces back to the mid-1980s when a group of local pet owners seeking a way to cope with their grief during the holiday season initiated this tradition. What started as a small gathering with a handful of ornaments has grown into an annual event that draws hundreds of participants.
Over the years, the tree has become more than just a memorial; it has evolved into a symbol of community and support, providing a space for people to share stories, offer comfort, and remember the joy their pets brought into their lives.
As the years pass, the Furever Tree continues to be a testament to the enduring bond between humans and their animal companions, marking a cherished place in the heart of Central Park and the hearts of those who visit.