For more than 30 years, the North Carolina Arboretum has been cultivating connections between people, plants and places amid a 434-acre public garden. The Arboretum is located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest just south of Asheville and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 393. Surrounded and crisscrossed by forested coves and meandering creeks in the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum is set in one of the most beautiful natural settings in America.

The Arboretum was established as an affiliate of the University of North Carolina System by the State General Assembly in 1986, nearly a century after Frederick law Olmsted, the Father of American Landscape Architecture, first envisioned a research arboretum as part of his legacy and plan for George Vanderbilt at Biltmore Estate.


children reached through school visits and programs last year


acres of cultivated gardens, including the Bonsai Exhibition Garden and the National Native Azalea Collection accredited by the Plant Collections Network


samples collected of native seeds and endophytes



The North Carolina Arboretum offers engaging indoor and outdoor exhibits focused around science, education, arts and culture. Rotating exhibitions at the Baker Exhibit Center provide interactive, enriching exhibits for all ages and interests.
View Exhibits


The North Carolina Arboretum offers year-round educational programs and learning experiences for adults, families, youth, school groups, and trade professionals that focus on environmental sustainability, art, science and economic development. From classes, to self-guided programs, to lectures and symposia, the Arboretum serves more than 18,000 children and 6,000 adults annually.
Explore Programs


As a donor or volunteer, you positively impact the Arboretum’s trails, gardens, exhibits, conservation programs, education offerings and so much more. More than 17,000 members of The North Carolina Arboretum Society provide crucial annual support for the Arboretum’s programs and facilities. Members enjoy excellent benefits, including free parking and year-round access to the Arboretum’s gardens and trails, discounts at the Arboretum’s gift shop, bistro, and education programs, and much more.
Become a Member