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Definition of Shrubs and Bushes

What is a Shrub or a Bush?

Shrubs and Bushes have woody stems that do not die back during the winter or dormant season. Multiple stems (or branches) grow from the rootball to give the shrub it's bushy shape. In most cases there is no central dominant stem, thus defining it as a shrub, rather than a tree, which has a dominant stem called a trunk. Dwarf conifers are most often mislabeled as shrubs, but they are trees, as they have one main trunk.

  • A bush is a small low shrub such as lavender, periwinkle or thyme and are often termed subshrubs. They have a woody base and soft stems that may die back to the base in winter.
  • A shrub is a woody plant having multiple stems arising from the root ball that do not die back in winter. Shrubs do not have a single trunk, a tree is defined as having a single stem or trunk. There is an area of overlap between shrubs and trees, see Shrub or Tree what's the Difference?

See also
Buy Shrubs - How to buy Shrubs Online - Types of Shrubs
List of Common Shrub Names - List of Botanical, Latin, Scientific Shrub Names

About Shrubs or Bushes

Shrubs are the base plantings in most landscapes and gardens. They are permanent fixtures that are hard working, and have both ornamental and practical attributes.

See also
Shrub Hardiness - Shrub Growth Size


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