One of my current projects is the design of a garden for a newly built house. For that project I had ordered half-a-dozen 2.5m (8′) Silver Birch (Betula pendula) trees from a large wholesaler in Sydney.
However, they delivered five Betula pendula and one Betula pendula ‘Dalecarlica’ (otherwise known as the Cut-leaf, or Swedish Birch) as they had run out of similarly sized standard Birch trees….so rather than giving me the next size down or up, or even delaying the order while they sent stock up from their other nurseries in Victoria, they substituted it for the much more expensive grafted version.
As the birches were being arranged into two groves of three trees, I didn’t want an odd one out, so after contacting the supplier, they delivered a standard Birch tree a couple of weeks later as per the original order, but amazingly, didn’t want the Cut-leaf Birch tree back!
As the bulk of the garden had been planted up, the client didn’t want to keep it, so I got a freebie. A grafted tree this size would normally retail for around $200-$280.
Granted, it’s a somewhat ratty specimen (it looks like it was originally propagated in a cool climate and then shipped to Sydney for a couple of seasons where it has put on tremendous, over-sized growth), and, I’ve had to make room in the garden for it, but with a bit of love this will make a fine specimen tree.
This spot was originally going to house a Magnolia, but you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth!
Happy Gardening 🙂