Trees and shrubs are grown and looked after in much the same fashion. The major differences rest in the height of course, the fact that trees have just one trunk, while shrubs have multiple stems or trunks.
What was once a limited selection has now blossomed into a large variety of different shrubbery choices, thanks to the creation of several hybrid models of shrubs. Many of these shrubs have been adapted to grow in certain regions and conditions and at varying times of the year, making them perfect for areas that were otherwise restricted in their shrubbery choices. Shrubs can be used to cover bare patches of ground where growing grass has become difficult, or in depths that make it possible for the shrub to act as a privacy screen.
Shrubs also make great boundary markers, without having to rely on more artificial constructs like fences. They also have great decorative appeal, softening the lines between buildings, and serving as a perfect backdrop for flower beds. They add color, shape and variety to any garden or yard, with many of them producing colorful blossoms during their growing season, or attracting birds to feast on their berries.
Planting shrubs does differ slightly from planting trees. Shrubs should ideally be planted in the spring, giving them a long stretch of time to get established and acclimated. In areas where the temperature is relatively constant year-round this is less of a concern, and shrubs can be safely planted in the fall or even winter.
Like with planting flowers, a chief concern before planting should be to maintain moisture in the roots of the shrub. Water them as soon as possible after bringing them home, and continue to mulch the ground around their planting and shade them from sunshine after first planting. Pruning is also vital, and the older the shrub, the more this will be required. As such you may wish to buy less expensive, smaller shrubs, not only to save yourself money, but additional work as well. Also remember to water well in the fall before the ground freezes in areas with cool winters, as the leaves will lose moisture throughout the winter months.
Back to pruning, it’s a common practice with shrubs to cut all branches to an even length, which isn’t the ideal way to improve your plant’s health. You should focus on removing the older branches on landscaping shrubs, even though they may not have anything wrong with them. This will keep your shrub young and healthy, and prevent any problems before they happen. Most shrubs will need to be pruned yearly, especially in areas with harsher winters where the branches will suffer from winterkill. Flowering shrubs such as azaleas and magnolia should have their flower heads pruned after blossoming.