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Coker Arboretum is situated next to the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. The garden is managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden and is one of the oldest tracts at the site. Admission is free and tours are held on the third Saturday of each month (March-November). Tours begin at 11:00am and leave from the Cameron Avenue side of the arboretum.


  • Coker Arboretum
  • One of the entrances to the Coker Arboretum
  • Learn more about William Chambers Coker with this collection of essays and other resources linked below

Additional Information 
The Arboretum was established in 1903 by UNC's first professor of botany and chair of the University Buildings and Grounds Committee, Dr. William Chambers Coker. Coker intended to transform five acres of pasture into an outdoor classroom so that the native trees, shrubs, and vines of North Carolina could be studied. Professor Coker began adding a number of trees and shrubs native to East Asia during the 1920s and continued this practice well into the 1940s. The resulting mixture of domestic and foreign flora offers brilliant displays throughout every season of the year. 

William C. Coker (1872-1953)." Photograph. North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Carolina Digital Library and Archives.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill interactive tour, http://unc.edu/interactive-tour/landmarks/coker-arboretum/, accessed 3/24/16

North Carolina Botanical Garden, http://ncbg.unc.edu/, accessed 3/24/16

"Coker Arboretum," North Carolina Botanical Garden, http://ncbg.unc.edu/coker-arboretum/, accessed 3/12/17