Only part of my smoke bush made it through the ice and cold of last winter (winter of 2012, that is). Not being sure exactly how much was damaged, I didn't cut it back. And then I thought, "Perfect place to hang my bird feeders!" The house finches and gold finches are very happy with the new location; the dead branches of the shrub give them lots of perches while they wait their turn at the feeder.
It's also a great place for the squirrels... but the feeder turns into a wild ride when one of them tries to jump on board. It's highly entertaining to watch them try to keep their balance while eating as much of the bird seed as they can.