A lot of times, there is confusion among gardeners regarding what constitutes a tree or shrub. In other words, there’s a back and forth that revolves around the proper identification of certain plants.
One of those we’ll be discussing is the Rose of Sharon. Is it a tree or a shrub?
Rose Of Sharon Tree Vs Shrub
If you’ve been confused trying to figure this out, this article should provide the much-needed help in making such a decision. So, why is this identification important?
It is because a gardener or homeowner would want to have a certain outcome from their efforts.
It’s only logical that they obtain desired results.
Trees Vs Shrubs
To get to the heart of our discussion, it will be necessary to first identify the key differences between trees and shrubs.
Only then are we going to have a better understanding of what category to place the plant being looked at (Rose of Sharon). So, are you unclear about the key differences? This section should be of help.
Key differences between trees and shrubs will mostly have to do with height, trunk, and stem formation, lifespan, and more. With this said, it’s necessary to take a look at these areas of differences to have a fair idea of what to look out for.
Height easily stands out as one of the obvious differences between trees and shrubs. While this is true, there are times when shrubs grow to as high as 15 feet.
Plus, trees that aren’t fully matured might be temporarily shorter than some shrubs. Also, there are stout or dwarf tree species known for their limited growth.
While the above is true to some extent, trees for the most part are much taller than shrubs. Depending on the species, a tree may grow hundreds of meters tall.
Shrubs have limited growth and cannot exceed certain heights that trees easily grow past.
Trunk & Stem Formation
The trunk formation of trees is mostly different from those of shrubs. Tree trunks are single and grow to significant heights.
The woody trunks possess a thick and hard stem. It’s quite different with shrubs in the sense that such plants may contain multiple stems that grow near the ground.
When it comes to lifespan, there’s a clear difference between trees and shrubs. Although shrubs are perennials, they have a much-limited lifespan compared to trees.
Trees can live for several hundreds of years before they die. Some of the oldest trees in the world have lived thousands of years and are still alive.
What Category does the Rose of Sharon Belong to?
In our discussion to this point, we’ve focused on providing key distinguishing factors between trees and shrubs. There have been arguments for and against the Rose of Sharon being classified as a tree.
So, what is the answer? You’ll need to read on to find the answers you seek.
Ordinarily, trees are known to be single-stemmed. This is where clear differences exist when compared to plants like the Rose of Sharon.
In other words, the Rose of Sharon will naturally grow into a shrub with multiple stems. However, this plant has been known to be trained into a tree.
Rose of Sharon shrubs can be trained into an actual tree by trimming it when young to have a single stem. This has been done successfully and still is practiced today.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Rose of Sharon plants can be left as shrubs that they easily are or can be trained into a tree.
It depends on what you want
As stated earlier, the Rose of Sharon easily fits a shrub when allowed to grow naturally. It’s widely grown as a hedge plant and pruned to maintain a definite shape and height.
When overgrown, this plant could reach heights of around 7 to 10 ft.
However, when your goal is to allow it to grow into a tree, you can have your Rose of Sharon shrub trained by trimming it while still young.
Here, the straightest and most central trunk is allowed to grow while the others are pruned or trimmed off. The end goal is to allow the shrub to grow into a tree.
To do this, you may want to get tips on how to go about pruning. It’s essential to understand the pruning process to ensure you get things right from the onset.
With a good job comes a well-developed Rose of Sharon tree.
It’s Different Things to Different People
Based on the above explanation, it’s easy to see why the status of the Rose of Sharon has been debated for a long. It’s no wonder it’s called a bush, a shrub, a tree, and most definitely a plant.
As seen clearly, its status as a tree is only achieved through proper pruning action and nothing else.
However, when not trained, it grows into a shrub or bush. Now, even the shrub needs to be maintained through pruning or trimming action.
Different benefits arising from pruning are derived.
These include removing diseased or dead limbs, improving air circulation, and promoting vigorous growth.
The most common reason for pruning Rose of Sharon shrubs is to keep them in shape and to the right size. With these performed the shrub blossoms enhance your home’s surroundings.
Your Choices will Influence your Outcomes
Persons wanting a tree out of this shrub can achieve that through pruning. However, if you only want to grow this shrub for its beauty as a flowering hedge plant, you can easily achieve that as well.
For homeowners seeking an evergreen colorful plant, Rose of Sharon wouldn’t be a great idea.
Because it’s a deciduous plant, it sheds or loses its leaves in fall or winter. As such, the tree becomes a shadow of itself during such times.
However, if you’re contented with its appearance during the blooming season, then you definitely will want this plant to be a part of your garden.
It’s now clear that Rose of Sharon plants can be made to grow into anything you want. In other words, you make it grow into a tree as well as a shrub.
To grow into a tree, you only need to train it through pruning.