Although there are an estimated 1.1 billion trees in Iowa, one tree in particular is gaining international attention. The tree, which may even be getting the attention of the Pope soon, resembles the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus. And the depiction of the Virgin and Jesus mysteriously appeared in the trunk just recently. The tree with the divine image was found in Polk City, Iowa that has a population just over 4,400. Although it is considered part of the Des Moines metropolitan area, Polk City is occupied by small town folks who love outdoor activities. But that doesn’t mean they don’t know to look for religious icons and depictions in the natural world around them.
In the video report below from KCCI, you’ll see reporters sending their best representatives out into the field to record the image of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus that has appeared on the lone tree in Iowa.
The tree has a clear depiction of the Virgin Mary standing up along the trunk holding the baby Jesus in her arms.
The religious icons were not on the tree until recently. And Polk City residents remember driving by the tree and never seeing it until one day when it suddenly appeared. While the naysayers claim that a person etched the likeness into the bark, others think God put it there as a sign that must be interpreted.
The godly tree is located at the intersection of 3rd Street and Bridge Road and is attracting pilgrims from all over the nation. Many are taking time off work to drive to Iowa and see the Virgin Mary in the tree holding the baby Jesus.
The shape staining the bark in the trunk is about 6 feet tall.
Residents are stunned by the icon of their religious idols.
“It makes me wonder how it got there. Was it struck by lightning? Was there a disease?” asked Jennifer Naylor of nearby Johnston.
Some people do not know if it is a religious apparition or a simple aberration.
“There have been several shrines off and on,” Craig Porter told KCCI’s Steve Karlin on Friday.
“You know, the flowers sitting there. So, I would say that other people are seeing the same thing I see,” said Naylor.
The Virgin Mary in the Polk City tree was first noticed back in 2014.
Amy went to visit the tree in 2015 and wrote on Roadside America, “At the Virgin Mary tree, we pulled into the driveway of the house — it appeared to be abandoned. There was not a “No Parking” sign visible. Watch your speed when entering the town, it seems to be a speed trap.”
Viewers shared their thoughts about the tree on ABC 7’s website.
“I see a large tree with an aberration on its trunk.”
“Looks like a tree. I made a pancake once that had Willie Nelson on it…or it might have been Kris Kristofferson. Pretty cool. Cooler than the tree.”
“That looks like Janis Joplin when she performed at Woodstock lmao but 4 real!”
Others are certain that the image is Christian.