Web Exclusive: Some Catholics think prayer is causing weeping tree

Web Exclusive

(CBS/KGPE) - A group of Fresno Catholics say prayer is causing a tree to weep.  The crape myrtle tree sits in front of St. John's Cathedral in Fresno.  Parishioners in downtown Fresno say the water started falling on Wednesday and happens every time they pray.  Some are calling it miraculous.

As the mid-day sun beat down a group of parishioners huddled under a tree, looking for shade but seeking a miracle. 

"I said my prayer and asked for him to give me a miracle cause I'm really, really sick," said Rosemarie Navarro. 

Navarro counts herself among the believers, a small but growing group that thinks the liquid dripping from this Crape Myrtle Tree is the tears of god. 

"When you say glory be to God in Jesus' name the tree starts throwing out more water," said Maria Ybarra. 

On close inspection arborist Jon Reelhorn agrees, something is dripping from the tree in front of St. Johns Cathedral, but it isn't water. 

"The aphides will suck the sap, the sap goes through the aphid and then it is a honey dew excrement from the aphid and it gets so heavy in the summer that it will drip down," said Reelhorn. 

Reelhorn says it's a natural process and also found another tree dripping across the street but for Maria Ybarra the true explanation remains divine. 

"So you are looking at it from a scientific standpoint and a spiritual standpoint it is the work of god manifesting here on earth," said Ybarra.

It turns out this is the high season for aphid infestation and they do typically get worse, the hotter it gets.


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