Answer: Hawthorn shrubs prefer full sunshine, so the bare branches are probably a result of inadequate sunshine, plus infrequent pruning. You can remove any twiggy growth that's non-productive, and then cut the remaining branches and stems back one-third to one-half to encourage new growth. Prune in the early spring to give the shrubs all summer to recover. They will grow in the partial shade, but won't be quite a lush and productive as they would be in full sunshine. If you decide to remove the hawthorn, consider Escallonia (with delicate pink flower clusters), Weigela, or one of the hybrid lilacs as replacements.
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