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What is a Shrub Nursery?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2016
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A shrub nursery is a plant nursery where shrubs are propagated, grown and sold either retail or wholesale to gardening enthusiasts, landscape contractors and other nurseries. Shrubs are woody, deciduous, or evergreen plants that generally have multiple stems and are shorter in height than trees; depending on shrub species and favorable growing conditions, however, it is possible to find some pretty tall shrubs.

Shrubs come in such an extensive range of shrub types, sizes and colors that a right fit can be found for almost every garden or landscape design. Tall shrub species are ideal for use as privacy fences, to line driveways, and to hide or soften landscape or architectural flaws. Medium and miniature shrub plants may be used as ground cover and to hedge compounds and pathways.

Some shrub varieties may be clipped or pruned as topiary, and colorful ones may be used to provide garden or landscape accents. A garden or park section planted with shrub plants is known as a shrubbery; this was originally an English landscape shrub design concept, and is now popular around the world. Various shrub species may be used in a shrubbery to create an interesting contrast of sizes, colors and textures.

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Most shrub species are usually easy to maintain, but different ones may have different environmental and growing requirements. Some shrubs may also need to be clipped or pruned in a certain manner to stay healthy and look their best. It is advisable that beginners to shrub gardening do a bit of research about how to select the right shrub plants, when and how to plant them, and how to care for them.

At a shrub nursery, young shrub plants are often tended in special greenhouses, with automated watering systems and temperature control arrangements, to protect them from climatic extremes. Depending on its size, location and business operation, a shrub nursery may stock only certain local shrub species or may offer a more varied collection. Given the expense of retail space, it has become usual to find a wider selection of shrubs online and in mail order shrub catalogs than at an actual shrub nursery premise.

It is also more convenient to buy shrubs, shrub seeds and shrub cuttings from a shrub nursery catalog or website. Buyers should, however, first read a nursery's shipping policy and make sure the nursery ships to their area. Many nurseries often ship only within specific regional or national boundaries.

Those shrub nurseries that do ship internationally must adhere to the different import and export regulations that prevail in different countries. In the USA, for instance, imported shrub plants and shrub seeds must have an import permit and a phytosanitary certificate stating that the imports are free from pests. The imported plants and seeds must also, respectively, be free of soil and pulp, must be packed in specified packing materials, and must be labeled with the correct shrub names.

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