Cox Arboretum

By Ben Ford in News

The Cox Arboretum was one of the host sites for the National ACS Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, June 12-14. Founded in 1990 by former ACS president Tom Cox and his wife Evelyn, the arboretum has developed into one of the premier collections of woody plants in the U.S. with over 4,000 documented species and cultivars, which attract visitors from around the world. It has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines including Horticulture.

Throughout the years its mission has evolved with a present focus on plant evaluation, preservation of rare and endangered flora, and developing a public appreciation and enlightenment of plants. It also serves a scientific and educational purpose through the testing and displaying of new and rare plants in a garden setting. Having met certain professional standards of established arboreta, in 2012 it was awarded Level II accreditation by ArbNet, which is administered through the Morton Arboretum.

Today the arboretum is renowned for its collection of Acers (maples) and conifers as well as numerous Ginkgo cultivars. Presently there are 41 separate conifer genera (60% of the world’s total) in the collection. In addition, there are 198 species (about 50% of the world’s temperate species) and over 1000 cultivars. Of the world’s 615 conifer species, 211 (or 34%) are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as being threatened. Twenty-eight of these species are being conserved at the Cox. Among these are numerous rare gems such as Calocedrus rupestris (the most recently discovered conifer on earth), Xanthocyparis vietnamensis, Wollemi nobilis, Cathaya argyrophylla and Amentotaxus yunnanensis.

Based on his years of study in the field of conifers Tom, along with Dr. John Ruter (University of Georgia and president for the ACS Southeast Region), co-wrote a book, Landscaping With Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast. Tom is also a frequent contributor to the Conifer Quarterly and now writes a monthly garden column for a local magazine.

For more information about Cox Arboretum, visit

For more information on the ACS National Meeting, click here.