Difference Between Trees And Shrubs
By Laura Lee - December 7, 2021

We all know that trees and shrubs are not exactly the same thing, after all, trees are taller than shrubs. But is this the only difference between them? It turns out, there are many differences between a true and a shrub.

Table Summary

One single trunkSeveral main stems growing from the ground
Elongated stemShort and rounded
pink blooming Azalea flowering tree in afternoon sunny light

Getty Images / Moment / twomeows


Trees are perennial plants with a trunk that supports branches and leaves. Trees have been in existence for 370 million years and they have independently evolved a trunk and branches in order to tower above other plants to compete for sunlight.

Shrubs, on the other hand, are small-to-medium-sized perennial woody plants. They are smaller than trees and have a rounded shape. Besides, unlike trees, they have several main stems growing from the ground.

Trees VS Shrubs

There are two main differences between trees and shrubs. First, their shapes are quite different: while trees tend to be very tall, shrubs are shorter and rounded. Besides, trees have one single trunk while shrubs have numerous main stems growing from the ground. However, sometimes, trees such as hemlock, hornbeam, and hawthorn trees are grown as shrubs inĀ urban environments.