Jim Conroy tells his story: I've been taking care of this tree since 2006. Both the property owner and I feel very protective toward it. My gosh! It is so big and beautiful--who wouldn't want to make sure it stays healthy and strong?
Over the years, I feel that a sort of friendship has developed between me and "Sheila's Beech." It has a special energy to it and I know that it welcomes my help. I feel a sense that it somehow knows who I am; there is a sense of friendliness I feel as I put my hands on its trunk.
When it got the bleeding canker disease a few years ago, it taught me many valuable lessons about communicating with disease organisms and ecosystems. As I did the healing work, the bleeding spots dried up, cleared, and now can't even been found.
In the early days, I asked it how old it was. Just look at the girth of its trunk. I would have expected it to "say" something like 120 years old. But, instead--as I went through my yes/no question asking process--I was lead to the number "48." I think this tree as a sense of humor. I think it was telling me that it "feels" younger than it looks.
Every time I pass by the property, I stop in to check on it and "bail" it out. See, its perimeter roots are raised at least 10 inches. That makes pockets where water puddles. So, I keep a little cup there and just bail out any water that collected. Then, I usually say "hello", give it a pat, and appreciate its beauty.