Darkening of birch wood during artificial drying is a significant problem regarding the use of its timber as raw material by the mechanical wood industry. In the future, an increasing proportion of birch timber will be obtained from plantation forests, which differ from natural forests in many respects. In this investigation sample boards of Betula pendula, both from naturally regenerated stands and plantations, were sawn into the dimensions used as raw material for parquet billets. Growing site, felling season, and storage of logs were taken into account as possible factors affecting wood colour changes during drying. The wood of birches from fertile plantations remained lighter-coloured during conventional drying than the wood of naturally regenerated birches from low- and medium-fertile stands. The reason may be the difference in tree age and growth rate between natural and planted stands. Thus, it could be beneficial to grow birch in fertile stands so that the trees reach log size as young as possible. The results of this study emphasise the good quality of the birch wood from planted stands compared to natural stands with regard to its colour.