History of Liberty Hall's Historic Grounds

In the 1760s, when Governor William Livingston purchased land in Elizabethtown, NJ for Liberty Hall, one of his goals was to establish a garden filled with unique specimens, a truly beautiful and enduring legacy. He cultivated his garden with fruit trees from Europe, and in the 18th century tradition, exchanged seeds with his contemporaries such as George Washington and his son-in-law, John Jay. The magnificent Horse Chestnut tree which stands just outside the front door of Liberty Hall, was indeed one of the seeds he obtained from England. It is over 240 years old today and one of the oldest trees in New Jersey. You can also find a Bartlett pear tree, Seckel pear tree and Buckeye trees that are also among the oldest of their kind in New Jersey, all right here on the grounds of the Liberty Hall Museum. 

You can see many other outstanding trees along the Serpentine Path, many planted by another early owner Lord Bolingbroke who resided at Liberty Hall in the early 1800s.

In recent years, especially due to Hurricane Irene and Super Storm Sandy, several of our beautiful trees were lost to the violent weather.

Through our Commemorative Tree Program, you can help us to recreate the beauty of these lost historic trees. 


Tree Program

About the Commemorative Tree Program

The gift of a commemorative tree in tribute, honor, or celebration of someone is a lasting, symbolic gift. Upon donation of a tree, the honoree’s name, type of tree and tree number will be displayed on a tree tag, affixed on the tree so that all visitors will see it clearly.

Your remembrance will be showcased on a brass plate in the Visitor’s Center on a tree tag, and also on our garden guide map so that you can easily identify it and visit the tree whenever you like.

You'll not only be giving a perfect gift for a birthday, graduation, wedding, in memory of someone special, etc but you'll also be giving a gift to the beautiful grounds of Liberty Hall Museum.

Be a part of our project and create a lasting legacy to someone special in your life. 


Types of Trees for Purchase

White or Red Oak: The red and white oak are two of the pre-eminent hardwoods of eastern North America. Specimens have been documented to be over 400 years old. 

Silver or Red Maple: The maple native to eastern North America. It is one of the most common trees in the United States. The Red Maple is a relatively fast-growing deciduous tree, commonly reaching a height of 50–80 feet. It is best known for its brilliant deep scarlet foliage in autumn.

American Sycamore: An American sycamore tree can often be easily distinguished from other trees by its mottled exfoliating bark which flakes off in great irregular masses, leaving the surface mottled, & greenish-white, gray and brown. A sycamore can grow to massive proportions, typically reaching up to 98 to 131 feet high and 4.9 to 6.6 feet in diameter when grown in deep soils.

White Ash: The name White Ash derives from the undersides of the leaves. The lower sides of the leaves of White Ash are lighter in color than their upper sides. The outer surface of the twigs may be flaky or peeling.

Red or White Dogwood: These trees are distinguished by their blossoms, berries, and distinctive bark.

Norway Spruce/Colorado Spruce: (limited) 



The price for each type of tree is $350

The price of your commemorative tree includes perpetual care, a tree tag bearing the recipient’s name, tree type and number, brass plate on display in the Visitor’s Center, and 1 replacement tree should the original tree die. 

Purchase a Tree