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Let's take on the first question. Zones are only based on the minimum winter temperature. So believe it or not there is a zone 9 on the coast of Canada near Washington State! Japanese Maple will do okay but hates our southern heat. If you provide a soil with lots of compost, a bright shade location (a little morning sun is fine) and keep the soil moist but not saturated, it will probably be fine. Choose types without the very finely cut foliage. Type with leaves more like a sweetgum or maple in shape do better.
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