Are shrubs important? Why?
Shrubs are part of gardening, landscaping, and landscape maintenance. They can also help create a sense of privacy by lining them up and creating a thick hedge that blocks others from looking at your home, family, and landscape. Your landscaping team at Year Round can help you with selection, planting, and maintenance of your shrubs while they maintain your landscape.
The shrubs around the world are part of the climate control system. They also help stabilize soil, water balance, and carbon uptake. But, maybe most important, shrubs are essential for many species of animal life for grazing and browsing by domestic animals and birds, and hundreds of species of other classes of animals and plants.
In some parts of the world, a shrub’s ability to intercept and store water can also reduce storm runoff by rapidly absorbing the water and reducing flash floods and other flooding.
What about in your home landscape? Flowering shrubs can produce beautiful flowers right at your eye level. In many cases, shrubs can form a kind of framework, central to your garden and landscape, but a quiet, healthy background for other plants and trees.
Their presence is subtle, but they are always there. Shrubs provide shade, stabilize the soil, and can improve air quality. They provide habitats for small animals, insects, and birds. They add beauty to your landscape and garden.
What’s the difference between shrubs, bushes, and trees?
Shrubs tend to be minor, perennial woody plants. They are primarily under 15 feet tall unless groomed to grow to a tall shape. They can be tall, short, upright, low, flowering, green and leafy, or even evergreen.
Shrubs have multiple stems from ground level and up. This may be an adaptation to animals browsing through the foliage for something fresh to eat.
Some shrubs can be trained to have only a single stem. As a result, shrubs can bloom, even in winter.
While shrubs have many stems that divide below the ground, a tree has one stem that divides at the top to form a crown of branches, leaves, and sometimes fruit.
On the other hand, separating bushes from shrubs seems primarily a matter of geography and foliage. “Bushy” is usually the descriptive term used, although some gardeners tell you that a bush is out in the “wild,” while a shrub is cultivated to grow in particular patterns. There doesn’t seem to be a widely accepted difference in meaning or description.
What types of shrubs?
There are many varieties and types of shrubs. Some shrubs, like butterfly bush and rose bush, are called bushes but still fall under the general title of the shrub.
Like other plants, the variety seems to be almost unlimited. So let’s explore a few, shall we?
Some shrubs produce flowers in an extensive range of color and size. For example, shade-loving shrubs can include azalea, and sun-loving shrubs include butterfly bushes. Some shrubs are evergreen, staying green through various temperatures and weather, rarely losing their leaves. Semi-evergreen well stays green until temperatures reach freezing or below, while deciduous shrubs will lose their leaves in fall.
There are other benefits to shrubs, just as there are benefits to trees and other plants. For example, planting shrubs on the east and west sides of your house can help cool or stabilize your indoor temperatures, especially during the summer.
If you’re looking for a shrub that changes from season to season, some shrubs turn colors in the fall (like the maple trees that flame with color after the first frost of fall), and some will grow large amounts of flowers in the spring, berries in the fall, and attract birds and butterflies.
Using native shrubs (shrubs that are wild in your area) is an intelligent choice. These will do well without spending a lot of time “fixing” problems. Native shrubs will live longer since they are adapted to the soil and temperatures of your area and will add beauty to your landscape for many years.
If you are feeling adventurous while trimming your shrubs, think about simple topiaries to add shape, texture, and interest. Choose a well-grown shrub and an even distribution of trees and branches. Don’t try to make it a topiary all in one go; it takes a lot of trimming and waiting to make a successful topiary. Instead, you could discuss your desire for designer shrubs with your landscape team at Year Round. It might be something that one of their gurus already works on!