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Why will shrubs grow before trees?

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Because they're lower growing and because they have shallower roots are the reasons why shrubs tend to grow and reach their mature height before trees. Shrubs that mature to a height of around 30 feet/9.144 meters may be considered small trees. But no matter the height, their shallower roots allow them to stake their claims first to the necessary, life sustaining dissolved nutrients that soak into the soil.
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What is a tree or shrub?

A tree or shrub is a plant that has a thick stem called a trunk and branches with leaves on them. The trunk and branches are brown and the leave are usually green, yellow, red

Is an apple tree a tree or a shrub?

Definitely a tree. Fourty feet. Though scraggly old things may resemble shrubs but ask the apple preservationist before removal. Many old varieties need preservation.

How do shrubs grow?

Other shrubs put out seeds and those seeds germinate and spread on to other areas of grass.

Can shrubs grow where there are tree roots?

Yes, in personal experience start with a four inch deeper than normal pot for best results but consider how fierce a competitor the tree is and water and feed accordingly.

Why do trees and shrubs growing in deserts have long roots thick barks sharp thorns?

they have long roots in order to reach down as far as possible into the ground to gather whatever nutrients and water there is, they have thick barks to help retain water and

What is the Japanese art of growing dwarf trees and shrubs in pots called?

The Japanese have become world-renown for Bonsai, the art of  grooming miniature trees and shrubs (usually various pines) to grow  in small pots, trays or bowls. Bonsai evol