Japanese trees do very well in the temperate and hot hardiness zones in the United States. The Japanese trees do not grow as tall as most domestic trees and are not used for shade, but they make spectacular specimen trees with their brightly colored leaves and flowers and the dark green leaves of the evergreen varieties.
Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) grows up to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide and can be upright or weeping, depending on the variety. It produces deciduous leaves that can be bronze, green, red or purple and change to chartreuse, vivid orange, brick red, or fluorescent flaming red, and red or purple flowers that bloom in May. The tree grows in full sun or full shade, but does best is partial shade and prefers moist, well-drained soils. It is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8--the temperate zones in the continuous states--and is used as a specimen plant, by an entranceway or in a raised planter with other plants.
Yoshino cherry(Prunus x yedoensi) is also known as the Potomac cherry and the Tokyo cherry. The tree grows from 20 to 40 feet tall and an equal spread. It produces pale pink, almond scented flowers that are followed by leaves that can be weeping or semi--weeping and change to yellow in the fall. The tree needs full sun in order to reach top flower production, but it is able to grow in partial shade. It needs a soil that is moist and well--drained. Yoshino cherry is hardy in zones five through eight.
Japanese Black Pine
Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergiana) grows from 20 to 25 feet tall and spreads 20 to 35 feet wide. The tree produces dark green twisted needles that grow from 5 to 7 inches long and in groups of two, small yellow flowers and cones that grow from 1 to 2 inches. Japanese black pine is hardy in zones 6 through 8 and needs full sun and dry to moist soil. It is a good choice for a small property and is also one of the trees used in bonsai.
Japanese privet (Ligustrum japonicum) grows from 6 to 20 feet or more tall and produces evergreen pear-shaped leaves, white flowers that grow in 5- to 8-inch long clusters and green berries that turn to black as they mature and stay on the tree for almost a full year. The tree will grow in full sun or partial shade and soil that is dry to moist and is hardy in zones 8 to 10, the three most southern zones in the continental United States. Japanese privet is used to make topiaries and as stand-alone specimen trees.