George Harrison tree -- killed by beetles -- to be replanted Feb. 25

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, left, at the George Harrison Memorial Tree planting in Griffith Park in 2002.
(Brain van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The George Harrison Memorial Tree, infamously killed by beetles, will be replanted on Feb. 25 in Griffith Park on what would have been the former Beatle’s 72nd birthday.

Chris Carter, host of the longest-running Beatles radio show “Breakfast With the Beatles,” will MC the event organized by Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, in whose district Griffith Park sits.

The ceremony will take place at 4 p.m., north of the Griffith Observatory parking lot. The original tree, a Canary Island Pine Tree dubbed “The George Harrison Tree” on the accompanying bronze memorial plaque, was planted on Harrison’s birthday in 2002. “In memory of a great humanitarian, who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener,” the plaque reads.

The plaque includes a quote from Harrison saying, “For the forests to be green, each tree must be green.”


He was an avid gardener who oversaw the restoration and expansion of English gardens on the grounds of the expansive estate he bought in the early 1970s.

As he told an interviewer in 1980, “I’m really quite simple. I don’t want to be in the business full time because I’m a gardener. I plant flowers and watch them grow.”

Harrison died Nov. 29, 2001 in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer.

An annual George Harrison birthday gathering organized by L.A. activist Jerry Rubin at Harrison’s star on Vine Street, outside the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood, follows the tree planting. That event, beginning at 6 p.m. and including a cake cutting, will also be hosted by Carter.


In addition, Sunday’s edition of “Breakfast With the Beatles” will be devoted to Harrison and his music with the Beatles and as a solo artist. Carter’s in-studio guest will be New Jersey musician Gary Wright, the former Spooky Tooth member who played with Harrison on his “All Things Must Pass” album and with Ringo Starr in his All-Starr Band.

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