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HOUSTON The last of the pine trees that died during last year s drought were hauled away Friday from Memorial Park.

Jim Porter, chairman of the Memorial Park Conservancy, said that more than 20,000 trees died and that it will at least 10 years to replace them all.

The tree removal portion is concluded except for trees along trails in the inner part of the forest, where we could not get the heavy equipment in, and we re going to be cutting that by hand, he said Friday.

Porter said that it could take decades to get the park to where it once was. It will also take volunteers and money.

More than $1 million has been raised to clean up the park, but the work is far from finished.

Soon they hope to plant.

People here hope it brings out more than color - they hope it brings back life.

Well, I would say they are very anxious for that, especially since it provides shade when a lot of people still come out here, Porter said. Well I think it s starting to come back; it just seems like it s slow, the progress is slow. It is coming back.

Depending on the forecast, planting could begin over the next few months.

The wetter the winter, the more they will try to plant.

The target period for getting seeds in the ground is January - when they hope to plant 10,000 trees.

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