Highway holiday tradition continues on Interstate 17

Mystery tree

Mystery tree

By Caroline Carpenter / ADOT Communications

The Mystery Tree along Interstate 17 has been once again been decorated with red, white and green holiday ornaments. Each year, unidentified elves secretly decorate this juniper in the median north of the Sunset Point Rest Area.

Another mystery surrounds the tree, and that’s how it has survived brush fire after brush fire. The 2011 photo above shows the tree after a fire destroyed nearly all of the vegetation around it. ADOT maintenance crews in the area say each year the tree withstands at least a couple of brush fires.

The ADOT Flickr page has photos of the Mystery Tree from 2014. Notice the holiday decorations are the same year after year!