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L.A. gently weeps as George Harrison tree is felled by beetles

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A tree planted in memorial to late Beatles guitarist George Harrison following his death in Los Angeles in 2001 has been killed by bark beetles amid California's epic drought, a local official said on Tuesday.

The pine 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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