"Some indeed rank the beech among timber-trees; but, I believe, in general it does not find that respect; as it's wood is of a soft, spungy nature; sappy, and aluring to the worm.
In point of picturesque beauty I am not inclined to rank the beech much higher, than in point of utility. ..It's trunk, we allow, is often highly picturesque. It is studded with bold knobs and projections; and has sometimes a sort of irregular fluting about it, which is very characteristic.
It has another peculiarity also, which is sometimes pleasing; that of a number of stems arising from the root. The bark too wears often a pleasant hue. It is naturally of a dingy olive;  but it is always overspread; in patches , with a variety of mosses, and lychens, which are commonly of  a lighter tint, in the upper parts; and of a deep velvet-green towards the roots. It's smoothness also contrasts agreeably with these rougher appendages. No bark tempts the lover so much to make it the depository of his mistress's name. It conveys a happy emblem: --- crescent illae, crescetis amores"

 

William Gilpin ,
Remarks on Forest Scenery
and other woodland views
p.43,   1791