"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; --- crescent illae, crescetis amores"

 

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