Shrub or tree? what will determine???

BagzBagz Posts: 38

Excuse my extreme lack of knowledge here, i've only just started taking an interest in gardening.

I'm after a Japanese acer, and i undersand they can come in the form of trees or large shrubs.....

The ones i've seen in the garden centre are maybe 2 foot tall, but how do i know if they will be trees or large shrub?  Is it all down to how i prune them or is it genetical?


I'm hoping to have a tree with eventually a few feet of trunk etc

Some of the acers in the garden centre are single stem and some have 2 coming from the soil.  Is this what will determin trees and large shrubs?


Again, excuse my gardening ignorance and lack of knowledge 




  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,014

    I would say if it is a single stem it will grow into a tree and if it has a few stems it will grow into a shrub image

    In my garden I have an Amelanchier tree and also an Amelanchier shrubimage

    Choose whichever suits the purpose for your garden image

    Pam LL x 

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    The label should give you an idea of size and spread, If it's a good GC then there should be someone to ask as well.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 11,900

    You could look up the varieties in the Garden Centre on Google or a good gardening book, but generally if it has one stem - the future trunk - it will be a tree, or several branching stems from the bottom it will be a shrub. But there are many varieties.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,159

    Look at its shape and look at the label.  Generally speaking if it's growing low and hummocky it will stay that way but may reach quite a large spread and a bit more height over time.

    More upright forms will get taller.  Sango Kaku is a good small tree with bright red stems in winter.  Mine started out about 4 or 5' tall and is now well over 2 m high though its stem ends get frosted every winter here so it may grow taller and faster for you..

    The Vendée, France
  • BagzBagz Posts: 38

    Thanks for your help guys, i've got a better idea what i'm looking for now

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