Our Indian Hawthorn bushes have gotten way too large for the space they are in. I need to cut them back but all their foliage is on the outside of the plant and I am concerned that if I cut them to where they really need to be they will simply die. All the guides say to prune after flowering but that's in the late spring. Would they put out leaves quickly enough to get them through the summer?
Cutting Indian Hawthorn Way Back
The general advice for pruning most established flowering shrubs is to prune them after they have flowered and to prune up to one third of their current size. Generally speaking, established flowering shrubs can usually recover if you don't prune them too much.
But you don't have to necessarily wait until after the plant has flowered. If you want to prune the Indian Hawthornes now (in the spring), you can safely do that. Just don't get too crazy with the clippers or pruning shears and cut them too far back. Cutting 1/3 of their current size away should be about right.
Of course, once you prune them back, you will not be able to enjoy any flowers and berries this year. However, they should bloom again next year.