Chuck – that’s not just dry, it’s hot! We have a few members in So CA who would be best to answer your question, but I think that the likeliest candidates are members of the cypress and pine families. Cupressus arizonica, for example, as well as Pinus monophylla. There are cultivars of both species that would be more garden-friendly (slower growing and smaller). One of the issues is availability; you might have your friend check with local nurseries and see what they carry (or suggest that he join the Society and have access to plant auctions!) It is also a good idea to note what is planted locally. There is actually a botanical garden in Palm Springs (Moorten Botanical Garden) and they may have plantings that will show what can be grown successfully in that area.