Coker Arboretum, fondly known by many as a quiet haven, is the heart of one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses. Managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden, it is one of the garden’s oldest tracts.
In 1903, Dr. William Chambers Coker, the University’s first Professor of Botany, began developing a five-acre boggy pasture into an outdoor classroom for the study of trees, shrubs and vines native to North Carolina. Beginning in the 1920s and continuing through the 1940s, Dr. Coker added many East Asian trees and shrubs. These species, closely related counterparts to many North Carolina native plants, enhanced the beauty and educational value of the Arboretum. Today the collection consists of a wide variety of plantings including flowering trees and shrubs as well as bulb and perennial displays.