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A shrub 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 3 meters (10 feet) tall. Smaller, lower shrubs such as lavender or santolina are often classed as sub-shrubs. Non-gardeners may refer to shrubs as 'bushes,' a vaguely dismissive term.
'Shrubs' in garden practice are generally broad-leaved, the smaller conifers being classed as evergreens. In temporate zones shrubs tend to be partly or wholly deciduous.
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 canes. Other shrubs respond better to selective pruning to reveal their structure and character.
Common garden shrubs include species, cultivars and hybrids of blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), some honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), Viburnums, mock-oranges (Philadelphus), privets, barberry, azaleas (Rhododendron spp), lilacs, many willows, witch-hazels (Hamamelis spp.), alders, and broom.
'Shrub' was also a nickname given to George W. Bush.
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