Cooper-Young Arboretum

By Judi Shellabarger

Cooper-Young Trestle

We are living in a tree museum.

From the moment you enter the Cooper-Young Historic District under the art railroad trestle, ginkgo lined Cooper Street greets you.  Welcome to the “hippest” neighborhood in midtown Memphis.  Quaint homes, restaurants, bars, small retail shops, businesses, and a brewery await you.

The Cooper-Young Historic District comprises almost 60 blocks and is home to over 8,000 residents.  The majority of homes were developed from the 1890’s to 1940’s. Queen Ann, Victorian, Foursquare, Colonial Cottage, and Craftsman Bungalows all represent the diversity of home styles in this charming neighborhood.

The Cooper-Young Arboretum project was created by the Cooper-Young Garden Club to encourage community involvement within our own urban forest. Our arboretum encompasses trees located in the front yards of homes, the Spanish American War Park, local businesses, and schools within our neighborhood.  Our plan was to bring this arboretum to our neighborhood streets where residents and visitors walk, exercise, shop, dine, and socialize.  Our desire is to add to our already magnificent canopy of trees, beautify our neighborhood, improve our air quality, and teach our children to love the beauty of nature. 

The Cooper-Young Arboretum is supported by the Cooper-Young Garden Club and the Cooper-Young Community Association.  Residents and businesses have agreed to maintain and care for their trees listed in the arboretum.

The Cooper-Young Arboretum is free and open to the public daily.  Pamphlets with a map may be found at the Cooper-Young Community Association office at 2298 Young Avenue or viewed online at .


Arboretum Tours-

Tours may be self-guided with the map or free tours of the neighborhood arboretum can be arranged by calling the Cooper-Young Community Association office at 901-272-2922.  For help on the walking tour, look for stenciled leaves on the sidewalk.  The leaves will match you to the specific tree.

Want to schedule a tour?

Contact the Cooper-Young Garden Club or Cooper-Young Community Association

  • Judi Shellabarger   
  • Robert Hatfield
  • Mike Larrivee

Visitors to the arboretum can expect to see a wide variety of trees.  We have huge very old trees to those newly planted to view.   We have a diverse number of Conifers, Magnolias, Oaks, and Maples.  The Spanish American War Park has a vast array of shrubs and trees to view.

We have also included smaller trees/shrubs with mature growth less than 15 feet for added interest.

Update:  The Cooper-Young Historic District Arboretum is now internationally recognized by ArbNet as a level 1 Accredited Arboretum.  We join the ranks with hundreds of other arboretums all over the world.  Kudus to club member, Judi Shellabarger, for putting in the hours and time to make this happen. 

Cooper-Young Gazebo

The gazebo surrounded by ginkgo trees at the intersection of Cooper Street and Young Avenue.

Tree Reimbursement Program-

The Cooper-Young Garden Club sponsors a yearly tree fund reimbursement program to add to our neighborhood canopy of trees and additional tree species.  The Cooper-Young Garden Club will reimburse for two trees a year in our neighborhood.  The program will be on a first come, first served basis.  The CYGC will reimburse for half of the cost of the tree, up to $100.00. for each tree.

Please contact Judi Shellabarger through the CYCA for information.

You must meet the following conditions to apply for the tree reimbursement program.

  1. Live in the Cooper-Young neighborhood.
  2. Be a member of the Cooper-Young Neighborhood Association.
  3. Choose a tree from the list of appropriate trees and plant in the front yard.
  4. Provide a receipt to the CYGC.

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