The Tanger Arboretum

About The Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum

The Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum (pronounced “tan’ -jer”) on the grounds of LancasterHistory was designed by Gustaf Malmborg of Manheim, PA. When the Willson Memorial Building was constructed in 1956, neighbor and naturalist Louise Arnold Tanger offered  to plant trees on the barren grounds surrounding the building. Mrs. Tanger joined the board where she took charge of the grounds until her death in 1959. At this time, her son Charles took her place and served as the historical society’s naturalist for many years until his death in 1991. Following Charles Tanger’s death, the Board established a group known as The Friends of the Tanger Arboretum to care for the Arboretum. A master landscaping plan was designed, tree labels were added, and a map developed for self-guided tours.

ArbNet Accredited Arboretum, Level 1 logo.

For new information about the Arboretum, please visit the Tanger Arboretum’s blog.

The Tanger Arboretum is an accredited Arboretum, Level 1, by ArbNet.

About the ACS Reference Garden (Dwarf Conifer Garden)

In late 2015, an American Conifer Society (ACS) Reference Garden was planted on the grounds of LancasterHistory as part of the Tanger Arboretum. This reference garden, also referred to as the Dwarf Conifer Garden, contains many species of dwarf and miniature conifers. A conifer is…

  • “Miniature” if it grows less than 1 inch per year;
  • “Dwarf” if it grows 1 – 6 inches per year;
  • “Intermediate” if it grows 6-12 inches per year; and
  • “Large” if it grows more than 12 inches per year.

There are currently 120 conifers located in the garden.

The Dwarf Conifer Garden is recognized by the American Conifer Society and received Reference Garden designation after meeting several criteria, including the number of conifers, accurate labeling of conifers, and proper maintenance of conifers.

The garden is open for visitation from dawn to dusk on the grounds of LancasterHistory.

Visiting The Tanger Arboretum

The Tanger Arboretum is open from dawn to dusk to the public. There is no admission fee. Maps of the Arboretum and the Dwarf Conifer Reference Garden are available at Visitor Services at LancasterHistory, Tuesday – Saturday 9:30am – 5pm, or in two map boxes in the Arboretum. One box is located at the entrance at North President Avenue. The other, near the Pollinator Gardens.

You can also view the map of the Arboretum online. This map was recently updated in March 2023, and will be continuously updated as the Arboretum changes and if any errors are found. Maps are also available onsite in two map boxes near the Dwarf Conifer Garden and Pollinator Garden.

If you are a member of an American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Garden, we offer the following: 90-mile exclusion not enforced, free/discounted audio guide or tour, free/discounted educational programs, and free/discounted entry to select special events. Programming that has an AHS Reciprocal discount often mentions it in the listing. You can view available programs here.

Guided Tours & Events

For more information, including pricing, on scheduling a guided tour of the Arboretum for a group (15+ people), please visit and complete a Group Tours inquiry form online.

The Friends of the Tanger Arboretum also hosts many events throughout the year. To view what events are available, please visit Friends often receive complimentary admission or program discounts to Arboretum programming. AHS Reciprocal Members may also receive similar discounts.


Members of the Friends of the Tanger Arboretum help care and conserve the Louise Arnold Tanger Arboretum. Members also enjoy exclusive benefits such as:

  • A special invitation to the Tanger Arboretum’s Annual Dinner
  • Free admission to the following events:
    • Annual Wine ‘n Cheese & Walk In The Trees
    • Seasonal Gathering Tours
    • Tanger Arboretum Nature Series
  • 10% discount in LancasterHistory’s Museum Store

Each subsequent level enjoys the benefits of all previous levels.

Individual ($30)

Membership for one adult.

Family ($50)

Membership for two adults and children residing at home.

Sustainer ($75)
Contributor ($100)

Two additional complimentary guest tickets to Wine 'n Cheese & Walk In The Trees.

Growth ($500)

A portion of your membership will support Arboretum educational programming.

Visionary ($1,000)

A portion of your membership will support the purchase of trees, plants, and supplies for the care and conservation of the Arboretum.

Join/Renew Arboretum Membership Online

Prefer paper? Download a paper form. [PDF, 92kb]

*NEW* Download a Friends of the Tanger Arboretum Membership Brochure [PDF, 1,224kb]

Additional questions can be submitted via the Contact Form.

Please Note: If you choose to opt in to auto-renew your membership, you can cancel or adjust your auto-renewal any time by calling LancasterHistory at (717) 392-4633, ext. 122.


Donations to the Friends of the Tanger Arboretum are greatly appreciated and help the Arboretum care for and conserve the many plant and tree specimens on the grounds of LancasterHistory, as well as provide educational programming for the Lancaster community.

If you are interested in making a donation to the Friends of the Tanger Arboretum, you can go online to make a tax-deductible donation or give us a call at (717) 392-4633 to make a donation over the phone.

Please Note: If you choose to opt in to set up a recurring donation or pledge, you can cancel or adjust your recurring electronic payment any time by calling LancasterHistory at (717) 392-4633, ext. 122.

Thank you very much for your support of the Tanger Arboretum!