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Betula utilis

Darkness is an attractive medium-sized birch tree which features shiny dark copper bark, speckled with white.

Darkness birch trees for sale

  • 2-year pot-grown tree £77.00
    In a 12L pot
    Medium size (2.5m-3.5m after 10 years)
You can now pre-order for next season.

How to grow

Darkness does best in good soils in a sunny location, but will tolerate periods of drought or flooding.


'Darkness' is a form of Betula utilis, and was collected from the Kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalayas. It is sometimes known as 'Dark-Ness', after Ness Gardens in north-west England, where it was planted in 1984. It appears closely related to the Chinese red birch (Betula albo-sinensis) which also features peeling bark.

Darkness characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Attractive featuresAttractive tree / plantAttractive bark
  • Growth habitUpright
  • Height after 10 years3m-5m / 10ft-16ft
  • SunlightPrefers full sun
  • PruningDo not prune
  • Growth rateAverage
  • Site conditionsOccasional floodingOccasional drought
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • BarkStriated - brown
  • Country of originUnited Kingdom
  • Annual cycleDeciduous

Similar varieties

  • See also China Ruby
    Betula albosinensis
    China Ruby
    A slow-growing form of the Chinese red birch, featuring peeling copper-coloured bark and long catkins.

What will it look like?

Illustrative example of a pot-grown tree of this variety as supplied. Approximate girth: 6/8cm. We try to keep all pot-grown trees down to about 1.5m as supplied, but some may be larger. Trees should reach their mature height after about 10 or more years.

Betula alba Fascination birch tree