- picture from Marilyn's site
The image was first spotted in 1998, but officials at the cemetery were concerned about any disruption that might occur and kept it quiet for several months. Once the word got out, however, people started coming by the hundreds and some even vandalized the tree. It is now protected by a fence and a cemetery spokesperson says there are still daily visitors who want to see the tree.
The life size figure of Jesus Christ protrudes mysteriously from a knotted growth on an aging pin birch tree that is approximately 150 years old. It is located at this tiny Roman Catholic Cemetery located in Quincy, Illinois USA (pop. 40,000) which is nestled in West Central Illinois along the Mississippi River.
A cemetery worker first discovered the phenomenon several years ago. He stood in awe upon making the discovery and kept the secret to himself for several days before sharing it with others. The miraculous image cannot be fully appreciated unless one stands at a certain distance and angle thereby explaining why the figure had not been discovered earlier.
The tree which has acquired the name of "The Jesus Tree" is also known by many in the area as "The Good Shepherd Tree."