This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Next in order to the Oak, the Beech claims attention; but in beauty and symmetry it stands almost without a rival. These trees, as single ones in park scenery, attain a magnificence of stature that is altogether striking. In distance it preserves the depth of the forest, and even on the spot, in contrast, it is frequently a choice accompaniment. In its autumnal hues, it is often beautiful. Sometimes it is dressed in modest brown, but generally in glowing orange, and in both dresses its harmony with the grove is pleasing. About the end of September, when the leaves begin to change, it makes a happy contrast with the oak, whose foliage is yet verdant. Its branches, though small, are numerous, and it forms a deep shade. The Beech is fertile in "mast" or nuts, from which the trees may be raised in abundance, provided it be collected in time, that is, so soon as it falls, and preserved till March in dry sand; but it will not generally be good after the first year. The seeds germinate freely, and attain a few inches in height by the first autumn; they may then, or what is better, late in March following, be removed to stand in nursery rows till fit for final transplanting.
The Beech forms a handsome, compact hedge: planted as the thorn, duly cut down, kept trimmed, and brought to regular figure, it makes a close fence, and while young, retains its leaves during winter; which, though not green, yet afford some protection.