Answer: Japanese maples will grow well in zone 8 so as long as the soil is well draining, one should thrive in your garden. Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple) is happiest in rich, moist soil. It prefers partially shaded locations. The soils should be drained well but be moist.
Watering is especially important to keep soil moist during summer. During dry spells, water the tree deeply twice a week by letting the hose run slowly into the ground around the base of the tree.
You can improve water retention by mulching with 2-3" of bark or like material under the dripline.
Best wishes with your landscape.
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