Can a bay leaf tree tolerate high heat? We want to plant one in a west facing planter backed by a tall brick wall. It rarely gets below freezing but summer temps can approach 120 °F. Will the tree survive morning shade and afternoon sun with extreme summer temperatures and radiant heat from the wall?
I think you will likely have a problem. Read the Ecology section of the Wiki page for Laurus nobilis and note how the bay tree disappeared from the Mediterranean as natural forests as that climate changed from humid to dry. The plant may tolerate the heat, but will need to be kept well irrigated. One of the problems with that particular plant is that when it does dry out the leaves do not readily fall but just turn a dull green colour and eventually brown making you think it is ok but in fact it is not. Water will be the problem.