Shrubs are woody plants with multiple stems and are generally smaller than trees. Examples of shrubs include boxwood, roses, rhododendrons and azaleas, mountain laurel, jasmine and juniper. Shrubs are used to add interest and texture to residential and commercial landscapes and are often grown for their edible fruit. Blackberries and raspberries are two examples of shrubs that produce edible berries.
Like trees, shrubs are either deciduous or evergreen. Examples of evergreen shrubs include arborvitae, holly, viburnum, pachysandra, oleander, spruce and balsam. Evergreen shrubs are often planted in a line to create living privacy hedges; arborvitae is commonly used for this purpose. Prostrate or low-growing shrubs such as juniper are also used as low-maintenance ground covers. Shrubs such as holly and camellias are often used as foundation plantings.
Although deciduous shrubs are also used to create privacy hedges, they are mostly used as specimen planting. Forsythia, for example, is an excellent landscaping accent choice because its bright yellow bracts are often one of the first signs of spring. Flowering quince is another popular choice for a specimen shrub. Some shrubs are extremely fragrant and are best planted near entryways where their aroma can be enjoyed. Examples of fragrant shrubs are daphne, Carolina allspice, gardenia,lilac and mock orange.
As a rule, deciduous shrubs are less fussy than other ornamental plants, making them a good choice for busy homeowners or those who aren't able to spend much time on yard work and plant care. Many modern homes also feature smaller yards than their counterparts of the past, making shrubs more desirable for landscaping than trees.