Annually since 1980, festive decorations secretly appear on a juniper tree in the median of Arizona’s busy Interstate 17 corridor. Known as the I-17 Mystery Christmas Tree, it’s located 55 miles north of Phoenix and transforms between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day each year.
Unlike a traditional Christmas tree, it’s actually shaped like a bush – nearly as wide as it is tall – and features eye-catching decorations like stuffed animals, ornaments and ribbons. Its decorators even outfitted an irrigation system so the tree could thrive in its isolated, arid environment.
The famous cypress survived numerous brush fires, and its decorators remain a mystery.
– Margaret Willard, The Arizona 100