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The Friends of the Arboretum support educational programs as well as the gardens at the New Hanover County Arboretum through both membership and fundraising. 


Love gardening? Love the New Hanover County Arboretum? Join us if you are interested in supporting this wonderful place. LEARN MORE


There are many different ways to volunteer with the Friends of the Arboretum. LEARN MORE


Make a donation to help with costs, maintenance and other expenses. LEARN MORE


The Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum (i.e. The Friends) is a non-profit, 501 c (3) fund raising organization whose purpose is to provide financial support to the New Hanover County Arboretum for the maintenance of its gardens and their improvement. Come grow with us! Friends of the Arboretum will help assure the Arboretum’s continuing development and preservation. Contributions from the Friends will be used for construction of new facilities and purchase of plant materials for the maintenance of existing gardens, as well as upgrades to the gardens.



You met that special someone,

fell in love,

now say "I do" 

at the romantic New Hanover County Arboretum.

It is the perfect venue for an intimate garden wedding now in full bloom.  We can follow the state's health guidelines while still providing a breathtakingly beautiful day.  

Have your wedding in Wilmington's real hidden jewel!!!!



The New Hanover County Arboretum is a beautiful place to explore native plants, have a picnic, or take a relaxing walk. Children and adults alike will delite in the gardens, koi pond, picnic area and so much more!

Listen in to some of the reasons visitors love the New Hanover County Arboretum. (Click play button to start the video).

Upcoming events

  • No upcoming events
  • 5 Oct 2021 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Saturday, October 16, Jeff Karnes, a local photographer, will be offering a workshop on how to take beautiful nature photographs with your iPhone or iPad.  The time will be 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.  Registration is limited to 12 people.  To sign up click here!

  • 28 Sep 2021 11:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Several weeks ago (September 10) The Friends of the Arboretum began the 3rd annual ‘BeFriend a Tree’ Sale at the New Hanover County Arboretum! They are selling native trees, such as the Flamethrower Redbud, fruit trees, including Blueberries and Pecan Trees, and the Winter Camellia Espalier, as well as many others. Each plant comes with planting and care instructions.

    The ‘BeFriend a Tree’ Sale began in 2019 after tropical storms had torn through the trees of Wilmington. The Friends of the Arboretum wanted to find a way to aid the community—planting trees was their solution! By selling a changing selection of native trees, as well as unique shrubs and espaliers, every year, the ‘BeFriend a Tree’ Sale benefits all who live in the places these new plants are grown.

    Support the Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum and take home a beautiful plant!

    Authored by Ember Rice - UNCW Student in Creative Writing 

  • 28 Sep 2021 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In August, 2020 a task force was created to explore the development of Eagle Island as a nature park.  The mission was to explore the implementation of a nature park that would serve recreation, conservation, and education type purposes.

    Since that time the task force has been hard at work putting together a visioning document.  The work will be completed soon and available to the public for study.

    The following links highlight information and partners pertaining to the project.

    Coastal Dynamics Design Lab

    North Carolina State University

    Preserve Eagle Island 

    Facebook Feature on the Park

  • 8 Aug 2021 1:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Master Gardener Volunteers in Durham and Orange Counties Are Recognized for their horticultural projects.

    Durham County volunteers won an award for  demonstrating how you can graft great tasting tomato varieties onto rootstocks resistant to a variety of soil-borne diseases.  

    It took several years to find a solution to this problem and provide written and video sets of instructions on how to perform the grafting practice in your own garden.  

    Check out this link for further information:

    Orange County volunteers won an award for their work on a stormwater garden project.

    Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution and flash flooding in urban areas. Properly designed landscape features can be part of the solution (like our own SWIZ demonstration project at the Arboretum).  Such projects allow rainwater to soak into the ground as opposed to running off hard surfaces into storm drains.

    Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers in Orange County recently solved a stormwater problem and also created an educational garden all in the same space.

    Check out this link for more information on the project:

  • 5 Aug 2021 12:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NC State Extension and the NHC Arboretum are hosting art works by local artist, Francisco Negro, also known as Alan Swart.

    Francisco’s first piece is named after the artist’s daughter, Stella, is a piece that symbolizes a family’s relationship and the wonder of a man and woman creating a child together. The sculpture’s structure was inspired by ancient Greek grave markers, which were called stelae—the Greek term for pillar or shaft, which Francisco was introduced to while visiting Copan Ruins in Honduras. He composed this piece using a variety of discarded hard woods that were donated by a local Wilmington company, Fitzgerald Wood Products.  Francisco stacked the wood slats and bound them together using steel wire to depict a figure on each of the four sides. Two opposing sides are silhouettes of the artist’s wife, Griselda, his daughter, Stella.

    The second piece is The Pop Up Last Supper Table. It is a recreation of the original biblical last supper, with a modern take. Influenced by pop-up shops, eateries, and other vendors, Francisco designed this table to be lightweight for convenient portability and use spontaneously for what could be a last supper. The piece is particularly relevant in representing the uncertainty we feel today as a society in regard to people’s health and wellbeing. During Francisco’s creative process for this, he imagined a local person requesting to have a table built for their last supper party within a short notice. The table was built using materials that he had readily available, like old wood and nails. Francisco says, “life has no concise value until we view it through the lens of a limited time offer” and this art piece is an example of how he turned that thought into a tangible object.

    The next piece is a spin on the timely phrase “Stop and Smell the Flowers.” The phrase reminds us to be mindful of the present moment into a metaphor, meaning that we should think twice and be more mindful about using single use items— like the aluminum cans and chop sticks that make up this display of a flower patch. He stated, “please stop and smell the absurdity of using any single use items. And if you must, please reduce, reuse, and recycle.” There are 132 cans on chopsticks in this installation. Francisco specifically chose the number of 132 cans because that is the average number that each U.S. citizen disposes per year.  In the United States alone there are 45 billion cans that slip through the most effective recycling process of material on earth.  

    Finally, we have the Flower Tree. Similar to the Stop and Smell the Flowers installation, this sculpture is composed of flattened aluminum cans that are attached to a tree limb with chopsticks. The cans are shown as the leaves of a tree. The colorful metallics of the cans stand out and catch viewer’s eyes. This reminds us that the leaves of trees are one of the most important things nature has provided us with. They are necessary on earth to produce the oxygen that we live and breathe in every moment of our lives. 

    Come visit the New Hanover County Arboretum!

    The artist can be reached at

  • 5 Jun 2021 5:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations are in order for the maintenance crew at the Arboretum.  They are led by Kevin Cassel, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor.  His wonderful staff include Jamie Johnson and Joseph Gallagher, grounds maintenance,  and Jordan Waters, landscape technician.

    One of their recent projects was to trim dead branches off the trees in the Woodland Garden area.

    The following photos will give you an appreciation of the work they perform for the benefit of the many that visit our beautiful sanctuary.

    With the bucket the crew has easy access to the higher parts of the trees.

    Kevin getting ready to lift up in the bucker for the tree pruning.

    Kevin begins pruning.

    Close up of Kevin pruning the dead branches in the Woodland Garden area.

    Joey Gallagher is capturing the debris from Kevin's pruning.

  • 5 Jun 2021 5:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Between November 2020 and May 2021 the Arboretum hosted an exhibit of the art created by Dorothy Gillespie.  This exhibit marked the 100th anniversary celebrating her life and artistic contributions.

    A recent donation to the Arboretum made it possible to have a piece of her art on permanent display.  You can find it hanging from the ceiling of the Gatehouse.

    Here is a photo of the item.


Friends Day


Gardens: 8AM - 5PM
Admin: 9AM - 5PM
Plant Clinic: 10AM - 4PM

Gift Shop: 10AM - 4PM


Phone: (910) 798-7660

Mailing Address:

6206 Oleander Dr.

Wilmington, NC 28403

Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Located at 6206 Oleander Dr., Wilmington, NC 28403

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