shrubs, saplings, low vines, etc., growing under the large trees in a wood or forest.
Also, underbush [uhn-der-boosh] .

1765–75, Americanism; under- + brush2

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World English Dictionary
underbrush or underbush (ˈʌndəˌbrʌʃ)
chiefly (US), (Canadian) undergrowth
underbush or underbush

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1775, "shrub and small trees in a forest," from under + brush (n.). Originally Amer.Eng.; cf. undergrowth, attested in the same sense from 1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Normal winter snows and cooler temperatures keep trees and underbrush damp
  enough that fires don't get too big.
Most were subsequently found alive after having become hopelessly lost in dense
  underbrush and rugged volcanic terrain.
So the underbrush thickens until the flytraps are smothered.
The burning clears the underbrush so people can get at the acorns more easily.
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