Help buying a tree as a Xmas gift

I’m going to be doing Christmas with my roommate and her family this year, as I’ve done the past 2 years. I’ve gotten to know them a bit, and I wanted to do something nice for her mom. Her mom, BTW, is dying of a terminal brain tumor. Sadly, she’s quite far along (in the last of 4 stages) and this will doubtlessly be her last Christmas.

I thought a nice gift might be a tree that she could look forward to planting in her garden come spring (whether or not she makes it to that point is immaterial), ya know, the old symbolic gift of a new life to celebrate an already-lived one. But I know nothing about how or where to buy one, nor even if this idea is possible.

What I’m imagining is a tree that:

  1. will be small enough to live indoors until May. (Berlin has long winters).
  2. will require minimal care (thrives easily)
  3. will look nice (perhaps a fruit-bearing tree?)
  4. is available NOW to buy and isn’t too expensive.
    Does such a tree exist? If so, would it be available in a typical plant/tree shop? (extra credit if you have some insight into how to buy one in Berlin? I’ve been here 2 and a half years and yet I still sometimes feel like a complete newbie).

Any additional thoughts (or even alternative gift ideas) quite welcome.

How about a rosemary bush? I brought one once to a funeral instead of flowers. A rosemary bush can grow indoors as far as I know. I personally chose the rosemary bush because I read an article about the traditions associated with rosemary. I can’t find the article where I had read about rosemary, but our friend Wikipedia has something to say on that subject.

Nah, I don’t think that’s what I’m looking for. I’m thinking more of a tree that one can imagine growing into a large full-size tree and living for many years. I think rosemary would come off as just a common herb found in a typical herb garden. Also, while the wiki info on its symbolic uses is interesting, “remembrance” isn’t quite the message I’m going for. Sadly, that might be more appropriate next year.

A bay, maybe? They grow quite nicely in pots and can be planted out once they’re needed. Or perhaps an olive tree, but they’re quite picky about where they’re planted.

My husband and I gave a dwarf lilac to his grandfather once for his birthday, which IIRC was in February. It was about 3 feet tall and he planted it in the spring. Also went by the name of Korean lilac, I think. If you kept it indoors it might flower early, and they smell wonderful. You would have to check with an arborist to know if this is feasible as I am far from knowledgeable, but it is a lovely tree and the right size.

Well, I went with a cherry tree. Thanks for the responses though.