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Encyclopedia > Shrubs
The word "bush" re-directs here; for alternate uses see Bush (disambiguation). "Shrub" is also a derogatory nickname for United States President George W Bush.
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A willow shrub

A shrub or bush is a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category of woody plant, distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and lower height, usually less than 6 m tall. A large number of plants can be either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience. Small, low shrubs such as lavender, periwinkle and thyme are often termed subshrubs.


The word bush can also refer to a type of plant community, as in the Australian bush. This is often characterised by scrubby, open woodland and is a generic term for Eucalyptus dominated woodland in particular.


Shrubs in common garden practice are generally broad-leaved plants, though some smaller conifers such as Mountain Pine and Common Juniper are also shrubby in structure. Shrubs can be either deciduous or evergreen.


When clipped as topiary, shrubs generally have dense foliage and many small leafy branches growing close together. Many shrubs respond well to renewal pruning, in which hard cutting back to a 'stool' results in long new stems known as "canes". Other shrubs respond better to selective pruning to reveal their structure and character.

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Common Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

List of Shrubs

Very incomplete! Those marked * can also develop into tree form.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Discovery Channel :: News - Animals :: Rising CO2 Levels Fueling Shrub Invasion (324 words)
Shrubs have been steadily encroaching on traditional rangelands from the Great Plains in the United States to Mongolia and Kazakhstan for at least two centuries, and in the past 10 to 15 years, ecologists have linked the trend to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The study provides the first piece of evidence to support that theory and suggests that these kinds of environmental conditions favor shrubs over native grasses, presumably because the plants are better able to use CO2 for photosynthesis.
With carbon dioxide levels projected to increase sharply by the end of the century, the findings have serious implications for the management of these open rangelands which cover about 40 percent of the Earth's surface and are typically used to support livestock, the authors of the paper said.
Shrub / Grass | Alaska Rangelands (2292 words)
Shrubs are well adapted to the low moisture, low soil nutrients, and relatively short growing season of shrub / grasslands.
Shrubs and grasses are well adapted to life in moisture and nutrient poor soils and harsh conditions, which are distinctive of many places in Alaska that are in the early stages of succession, such as glacial moraine and braided riverbeds.
Shrubs are known for their ability to survive in challenging areas with minimal moisture.
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