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George Harrison tree in L.A. killed by beetles

Date

Randy Lewis

The Beatles hamming it up for the cameras in 1963.

The Beatles hamming it up for the cameras in 1963.

In the truth is stranger than fiction department, Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend the pine tree planted in 2004 in memory of Beatles star George Harrison will be replanted shortly because the original tree died as the result of an insect infestation.

Yes, the George Harrison Tree was killed by beetles.

Except for the loss of tree life, Harrison likely would have been amused at the irony. He once said his biggest break in life was getting into the Beatles; his second biggest was getting out.

George Harrison grooms his mop-top in the mirror while on tour in 1966.

George Harrison grooms his mop-top in the mirror while on tour in 1966.

The sapling went in, unobtrusively, with a small plaque at the base to commemorate the former Beatle, who died in 2001, because he spent his final days in Los Angeles and because he was an avid gardener for much of his adult life.

He famously bought a rundown mansion in England that once belonged to a British lord named Sir Frankie Crisp-the name showed up in the title of Harrison's song "Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" from his 1970 solo album "All Things Must Pass"-and over the course of many years transformed the overgrown gardens into lush, beautiful grounds surrounding his home.

The memorial tree had grown to more than 10 feet tall as of 2013, but LaBonge said the tree beetle onslaught was too much for the tree. Trees in Griffith Park have occasionally been the victims of bark beetles and ladybug beetles, among other tree-unfriendly creatures.

LaBonge was on hand Saturday night at the Greek Theatre for the final stop on Ringo Starr's All-Star Band 2014 U.S. tour.

A date hasn't been set for the replanting.

Los Angeles Times

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