Sir Paul McCartney talks to tree that is 'spirit of George Harrison'

The Beatles legend London home has been broken into by thieves. (PA Images)
Paul McCartney talks to a tree that he believes contains the spirit of George Harrison. (PA Images)

Sir Paul McCartney has revealed he still talks to his late Beatles bandmate George Harrison – through a tree.

Harrison died aged 58 in 2001 after a battle with lung cancer. But before he died, the Here Comes The Sun singer gave McCartney a fir tree that now grows in the grounds of his Sussex estate – and which he believes contains Harrison’s spirit.

McCartney, 78, told NPR’s All Things Considered: “George was very into horticulture, a really good gardener. So he gave me a tree as a present: It’s a big fir tree, and it’s by my gate.

Former Beatle George Harrison (1943 - 2001) records 'Let it Be' for Ferry Aid, 1987. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Beatle George Harrison died in 2001. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“As I was leaving my house this morning, I get out of the car, close the gate and look up at the tree and say, ‘Hi, George.’ There he is, growing strongly.

“And you know, that takes me back to the time when I hitchhiked with him! They’re [Harrison and John Lennon] an ever-present presence.”

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He added: “It’s lovely. He gave it to me, so I just planted it. But then, as the years go by, every time I look at it I go, ‘That’s the tree George gave me.’ George has entered that tree for me. I hope he’s happy with that.”

The Hey Jude singer recently teamed up with Beatles drummer Ringo Starr to record some new music.

And he opened up about how grateful he was to have had the chance to reconnect with John Lennon before his death.

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 1965 file photo The Beatles, from left: Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison smile as they display the Member of The Order of The British Empire medals presented to them by Queen Elizabeth II in a ceremony in Buckingham Palace in London, England. Starr, the 77-year-old, former Beatles drummer received his long-awaited knighthood from Prince William Tuesday March 20, 2018. (AP Photo, File)
The Beatles – Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison – with their MBEs in 1965. (AP)

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The relationship became strained between the pair after Lennon quit the band, leading to its dissolution after the release of their final album Let It Be in 1970.

Lennon was murdered by obsessed fan Mark Chapman outside his New York apartment on 8 December, 1980, aged 40.

Watch: Beatles bandmates honour memory of John Lennon