Question: How much can I prune my shrubs without harming them?
Answer: It's generally best not to remove more than 15 to 20 percent of shrubs' top growth at any one time. Late winter is the best time for that type of severe reshaping, as it allows the plants to regrow and fill in right away in the spring. Prune in a way that allows some leaf growth to remain. Hopefully you can prune with lopping shears and hand shears so that you can avoid unnaturally round or square shapes.