Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. When taking botany with Dr. John Nelson, students endure such puns as his nickname for beech trees, A Son of a Beech. But that groaner didn’t put anyone off their fondness for beech trees, Fagus grandifolia, as they are among the easiest of all trees to identify. The bark is extremely smooth, leading to all sorts of declarations of love carved into them, and its common name of initial tree. A tree in Tennessee bore the statement “D. Boon Cilled a Bar on Tree in Year 1760,” – killed being spelled c I l l e d and Boon lacking an e. Historians think someone less well schooled actually did this carving; it does stand to reason that Daniel would know how to spell his last name. This particular tree died in 1916 at an estimated age of 365 years.