Answer: Actually, I wouldn't recommend arborvitae as "growing well" in our conditions, especially the larger varieties. The fact that you aren't seeing them in the nurseries is often an indicator that they don't perform well. Nurseries don't want to send people off with something they'll have trouble with. Assuming you are looking for an upright, evergreen shrub, you might consider Arizona rosewood (Vauquelinia californica), oleander, jojoba or Texas mountain laurel, all of which thrive here with minimum fuss. Good luck!
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