-- One little girl in Winnipeg, Canada, was horribly distraught when the beloved but dying tree in her front yard was cut down. But all that changed when she returned home from errands with her mom to a very special surprise from the tree removal company.
The group of men doing the tree removal had hand-carved the 4-year-old’s name, Shae, into tree “cookies” made from the stump, as well as built her a small, four-legged stool from the base of the tree to cherish forever.
“It’s so amazing,” Shae’s mom, Jackie Culley, told ABC News of the men's kind gesture. “Everybody thinks companies are just doing their job and that’s it and they just move along. They clearly took time out of their day to do something special and kind for her.
“She was so happy,” Culley added. “She went from so upset, barely talking and very quiet all afternoon, to when we came home, she was just beaming, smiling from ear to ear.”
The company, Alliance Tree Care, said, “It always warms our hearts to see others as passionate about the trees as we are.”
“We try our hardest to 'ease the pain' when we can,” office manager Mark Bailer explained. “In this situation, this young girl was distraught to see her ‘big tree’ about to be cut down.”
Culley had no idea how attached her little girl was to the tree in their front yard.
“It had died a while ago and branches were started to fall off it and it was getting dangerous so they had to come cut it down,” she said.
But Culley couldn’t believe her daughter’s reaction as the men were about to get started on the removal process.
“It was a complete surprise,” she said. “I saw her looking out the window and I heard her crying so hysterically and I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ And she said, ‘The tree! They’re cutting down the tree.’ She was crying so hard she couldn’t get the words out. I was trying to think of ways to make her feel better.”
The mother-daughter duo walked outside to let Shae hug the tree goodbye one last time.
“She hugged the tree and said, ‘Bye tree. I love you,’” Culley recalled. “They said, ‘We’ll make something special for her from the tree.’ I thought, ‘That’s really nice,’ but didn’t think much of it. I took her to the grocery store with me to distract her and we came back two hours later and they had made tree coins, little plaques with her name on it, and they had built a little stool. She was so happy. She was so proud.”
As for the men at Alliance Tree Care, they certainly didn’t mind the extra effort to go above and beyond to perpetuate Shae’s love of trees.
“Sure it may have added an extra half hour to our day, but that girl is going to have something that she is going to remember for the rest of her life, and hopefully ‘pass on’ that appreciation for nature,” said Bailer.