Shrubs

Shrubs (bushes), a wide-spread category of woody plants, are typically short (less than 10 feet tall) multi-stemmed perennials that branch near the ground and have a sprawling habit. But the category also includes arborescences, or tree-like shrubs, that grow between 9 and 20 feet tall, with a dominant trunk and crown. Shrubs are typically grown for their ornamental and utilitarian characteristics, especially soil stabilization and erosion control, but many have culinary value as well and fit beautifully into an edible garden.

Whether deciduous or evergreen, shrubs are the backbone of the garden, adding structure and texture to the landscape. They come in a diverse array of sizes, shapes, and colors; and many can be pruned to maintain a desired appearance. Although deciduous shrubs drop their leaves annually, they offer seasonal transformations that can include fragrant flowers, beautiful berries, fall color, or colorful stems that add winter interest to the garden, especially when set against a backdrop of freshly fallen snow. Evergreen shrubs offer year-round color and coverage, which supports garden wildlife. Easy to grow, shrubs are noted for their hardiness and vigor. Fruiting shrubs tend to be high yielding, and flowering shrubs favor prolific blooms, typically producing large quantities of clustered flowers.