Shrubs, Trees & Vines
Buy Shrubs, Trees & Vines from Anderson's La Costa Nursery Encinitas
Anderson’s carries a broad selection of trees, shrubs and vines – the plants that are truly the "foundations" of our gardens. By our best estimate we stock over 2500 varieties that span the range from the common to the exotic and since plants are highly seasonal the selection can change frequently. While the distinction between the three plant types (shrub, tree and vine) can drift into a large grey area (i.e., when does a shrub become a tree?) we thought it would be fun to poll our team of "pro's" and consolidate their opinions. Herein the results:
Plant Category: Shrub
These are woody plants (at least at their base) that normally support many outward radiating stems. They can be low growing woody groundcovers, a rounded bush or a plant that reaches small tree proportions. This category includes plants called sub-shrubs which have a woody crown and herbaceous top growth. 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 many times referred to as subshrubs.
Many shrubs respond well to renewal pruning in which hard cutting back results in long new stems known as "canes." Other shrubs respond better to selective pruning to reveal their structure and character.
Shrubs in common garden parlance 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.
Plant Category: Tree
Trees are perennial woody plants that are upright in their growth habits to such a height that a person can stand beneath them. Large shrubs might be considered small trees and likewise; many trees could be considered large shrubs. Trees (though not numerous in most landscapes) generally have a dominance that usually makes them the focus within the garden. Trees are an important component of the natural landscape because of their prevention of erosion and the provision of a specific weather-sheltered ecosystem in and under their foliage. Trees have also been found to play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as well as moderating ground temperatures. They are also significant elements in landscaping and agriculture both for their aesthetic appeal and their orchard crops (such as citrus and apples).
Plant Category: Vine
Vines are perennial plants whose growth form is emphasized by the process of elongation of the stem. They are usually vigorous plants that climb vertically but lack the ability to sustain their height without support. This definition is contrary to biblical references where "vine" is exclusively used in reference to the grape vine.
A vine may use rock exposures, other plants, or other supports for growth rather than investing energy in a lot of supportive tissue, enabling the plant to reach sunlight with a minimum investment of energy. This has been a highly-successful growth form for plants such as kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle.
The vine growth form may also enable plants to colonize large areas quickly even without climbing high. This is the case with periwinkle and ground ivy. It is also an adaptation to life in areas where small patches of fertile soil are adjacent to exposed areas with more sunlight but little or no soil. A vine can root in the soil but have most of its leaves in the brighter exposed area get ting the best of both worlds.