Betula Utilis ‘Doorenbos’ (Birch)

In 1993, eagle eyed Mr Doorenbos spotted this gem of a tree in the Netherlands. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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Deciduous and hardy and very, very pretty. Not quite your average birch. In 1993, an eagle-eyed Mr Doorenbos spotted this gleaming gem of a tree in the Netherlands. Slender stems can reach around 6 metres in height with a 5 metre spread, and it has a loose crown of small delicate leaves which are full of movement.

Plant this birch to add year-round interest to your garden. It has a graceful shape, somewhat pyramidal or flame-shaped, with a feathery coating of deep green slender leaves. These will mellow into a rich golden yellow in autumn and tumble away to reveal the star event: a most arresting bark of the brightest white. Chiffon-curls of papery bark peel away from the trunk and branches to expose pale apricot layers beneath. These freshly-revealed splashes of colour rapidly turn a luminescent all-over white.

You won’t have to be patient as young specimens are very pretty, and attain an even greater beauty as they mature. We like to plant this tree against a backdrop of deeply dark and contrasting evergreens so that their radiant white limbs really cut a dash. Splendid as a specimen tree, not too large but big enough to anchor a border, stand in stately rows to flank a driveway or add some heft to a cottage style garden.

This tree can be grown in most soils in full sun to partial shade. Tolerant of pollution so it’s good in cities. Has a moderate tolerance to salt so it’s good near the coast too. Pruning should be done in summer once the sap has finished rising in the spring.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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