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George Harrison memorial tree killed by beetles

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Back in 2004, a pine tree was planted in Los Angeles to memorialize George Harrison, a musician and member of the legendary band the Beatles, after his 2001 death. In a twist of irony, that very same tree has just perished at the hands of garden beetles.

Though it had grown from just a sapling to reach an impressive height of ten feet, bark beetles were able to overtake the memorial tree rather quickly. Recent drought conditions in the Los Angeles area had significantly weakened the “George Harrison Tree,” as it was called, as well as other trees in Griffith Park where the tree had resided. This was not the first tree in the vicinity to suffer this particular fate; Los Angeles councilman Tom LaBonge said of this result, “Trees in Griffith Park have occasionally been the victims of bark beetles and ladybug beetles, among other tree-unfriendly creatures.”

George Harrison lost a four-year battle with cancer in 2001 at the age of 58. His memorial tree was planted in Los Angeles, the city where Harrison himself had passed away, and was accompanied by a plaque bearing the following dedication: “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener.” The now-dead tree has been removed from where it was once thriving, but this does not mean the end of the Harrison memorial as a healthy replacement tree will be planted in the same spot in the near future. This new tree will be given a new opportunity to flourish and to help make a reality of the quote on the memorial plaque, spoken by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (a friend of Harrison and major influential figure for the Beatles): “For the forest to be green, each tree must be green.”

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