Posted: 26/06/2013 at 20:41
Hiya little ann
Yes cut it hard back every year for fast response and best foliage colour. If you want the flowers....."the smoke bush"....then you cut back some branches or prune after flowering.
Cornus pruned hard for exactly the same reasons.....better foliage, coloured stems (Cornus) and compactness. Eucalyptus the same....viz., for better foliage etc.
I grow 2.....one as a free standing shrub and the other trained against a wall. The shrub is pruned harder though.