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What are Shrubs? - Webster's Dictionary

What is a Shrub?

A Shrub is a bushy, woody plant with several branches and permanent stems instead of a single trunk.
- from Webster's Dictionary

What are shrubs? - from Organic Gardening Book

Shrubs are plants with multiple stems and range in height from a few inches to approximately 15 feet at maturity, although individual shrubs may grow as high as 30 feet.
A shrub trained to a single stem, called a standard, resembles a miniature tree.
Organic Gardening from Rodale's

Deciduous Shrubs that I have for Color:

Deciduous Shrubs are the ones that drop their leaves at the end of the growing season.

- Berberis ( Barberries )
- Japanese Dappled Willow
- Variegated Dogwood

Semi-evergreens Shrubs:

They will keep most of their leaves right into winter.
When their leaves eventually fall off, they reveal their berries and our winter birds love them.

- Berberis ( Barberries )
- Shrub Roses

Evergreens Shrubs:

They have leaves all year-round.
They do drop some of the old leaves, but grow new ones and keep the shrub looking green.

Evergreen Shrubs that I have:

- Boxwood
- Euonymus
- Holly
- Junipers

Deciduous Flowering Shrubs

- Bridal Wreath Spirea
- Flowering Almond
- Forsythia
- Hydrangea
- Lilac - suckers everywhere as well.
- Mock Orange
- Rose of Sharon
- Shrub Roses ( Hansa ) - suckers everywhere - nice blooms and fragrance.

Shrub Shapes

Shrub Shapes without the need for pruning:

You can buy Shrubs that are Pyramidal, Columnar, Arching, Rounded Upright and Low Growing.
You can maintain the natural forms of shrubs by trimming back to outward-facing buds.
However, most shrubs are healthier and more attractive in their natural form.
It's faster to use shears if that's the look you are looking for.
I used shears on my Colorado Blue Spruce tree last year and I thought I was going to kill it, but it's still a beautiful Christmas tree. However, if I had a big yard, I would leave on its natural form though.

Shrubs that I've trained into small standard trees:

- Euonymus
- Japanese Dappled Willow
- Pee Wee Hydrangea
- Lilacs
- Mock Orange

Shrubs Planting and Care

Newly planted Shrubs needs more care than one with established roots.
Water your shrubs well when you plant them or transplant them. I only like to transplant in the spring in Zone 6. Continue to water at least once a week until you see new growth. Mulch the soil, but not too close to the trunk if you have slugs and mice around.

Pruning Shrubs

If it's a flowering shrub, I usually prune it and tidy it up, right after it has finished blooming. Giving it plenty time to grow new flowering branches for the next year. In the spring I remove dead or crossing branches at ground level.

Showy, Colorful Shrubs

  1. Berberis spp. - (barberries): summer and fall foliage, flowers, fruits.
  2. Cornus sericea: (red-osier dogwood) flowers and bark; spring and winter interest.
  3. Cotinus coggyria (smoke tree): leaves and flowers; all seasons.
  4. Cotoneaster horizontallis: (cotoneaster): flowers, fruit; all seasons.
  5. Euonymus alata: (burning bush) fall foliage: fall and winter.
  6. Hydrangea quercifolia: (oakleaf hydrangea): leaves, flowers; all seasons.
  7. Lagerstroemia indica: (crape myrtle): flowers, fruits, bark; all seasons.
  8. Mahonia: evergreen leaves, flowers, fruits; all seasons.
  9. Pieris spp.: flowers, evergreen, foliage; all seasons.
  10. Rosa rugosa: flowers, fruits; spring, summer, fall.
  11. Vaccinium spp.: (blueberries): flowers, fruits, autumn color: summer and fall.
  12. Viburnum spp.: flowers, fruits; spring and fall.

Perennial Garden Ideas - Flowers, Herbs and Ferns