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George Harrison memorial tree felled by ... beetles

George Harrison memorial tree, planted following his death in 2001, has been destroyed by bark beetles, according to local officials. The George Harrison memorial tree is among a number of trees that have succumbed to beetles this year.

AP
A plaque marks the place where a tree was planted in Los Angeles to honor former Beatle George Harrison in Griffith Park on Tuesday. The George Harrison memorial tree planted in Los Angeles has been killed by beetles.

A George Harrison memorial tree planted following the death of late Beatles guitarist George Harrison in Los Angeles in 2001 has been killed by bark beetles amid California's epic drought, a local official said on Tuesday.

The George Harrison memorial tree, which was dedicated with a plaque to Harrison at the head of a hiking trail in the city's Griffith Park, was among a number of trees that have succumbed to the beetles this year, City Councilman Tom LaBonge said.

"It was weakened by the drought, bark beetles just attacked it. It had a quick demise," LaBonge said. "I happen to hike every day in Griffith Park and the tree just turned a bad corner this year."

The sapling had grown to 12 feet in height by the time it was discovered dead in June and removed by city workers, he said, adding that Harrison's widow, Olivia, had been notified.

LaBonge said he expected to see a new tree planted in remembrance of Harrison in the fall.

Harrison, who was born in Liverpool in 1943, gained international fame as the Beatles lead guitarist, penning such songs as "Here Comes the Sun," "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Eric Beech)

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