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Tree honoring former Beatle George Harrison slain by...beetles

After more than a decade of memorializing one of the most famous musicians in history, a tree dedicated to former Beatle George Harrison has met quite the ironic end, at least for now.

A Japanese black pine tree that was planted in Griffith Park in Los Angeles to honor Harrison has been cut down due to an infestation of bark beetles. Yes, that’s right; the tree honoring a Beatle was overrun by beetles.

The bark beetles, a well as ladybug beetles, have affected some of the park’s trees in the past and Harrison’s was reportedly cut down in order to help nearby trees avoid a similar fate. Don’t worry, however, because this doesn’t mean the end of the memorial tree forever. L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge said the tree will be re-planted sometime in November, after the California weather cools off.

Harrison died of throat cancer in November 2001. The tree was planted near the Griffith Observatory in 2003 (it grew to over 10 feet tall after that) and was officially dedicated in 2004. The LA Times noted on Monday that Harrison spent his final days in Los Angeles and was known to have been a big fan of gardening, so planting a tree in his honor was a natural fit.

A plaque accompanies the tree and bears the quote, "In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and gardener," followed by a quote attributed to Harrison himself:

"For the forest to be green, each tree must be green."

Speaking of the Beatles (the musical ones, not the tree-devouring ones), it was also announced last week that Ron Howard will be directing a new documentary about the Fab Four’s career from 1960-66. Of all the time periods to cover in the group’s illustrious career, it’s a great one; the lads from Liverpool made their big debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Howard is also asking fans to send in their own “rare or unusual” footage or photos to be included in the still-unnamed movie.

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