About Us

John B. Ward is a second-generation, family owned and operated business founded on John B’s simple principle of “treating clients in an honest and informed manner.” We develop long-term relationships with our clients because we share their vision and embrace their values.


John B. Ward (second from left) and Ezekiel Cromie (right) with their 1957 crew.

With little money, one truck, and uncommon determination, John B. Ward and Ezekiel Cromie founded Ward & Cromie in 1957.  

Mr. Ward’s degree in ornamental horticulture from Penn State University mobilized his life-long passion for trees. The winning formula was his focus on plant health care for ornamental trees and shrubs, together with Mr. Cromie’s capabilities in tree care, landscaping, masonry, and driveway resurfacing. The partners had a complete range of services to offer homeowners along the Main Line.

Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Ward & Cromie worked in the neighborhoods of Radnor, Tredyffrin and both Merion townships. There they developed relationships with clients who shared their interest for properly caring for their trees, plants and grounds.

Ezekiel Cromie cutting the top section of this tree.

Climbing the heights of the area’s champion trees, they also maintained the flourishing properties. In 1976, with work to sustain both branches of the business, the partners formed separate companies.  Ezekiel Cromie concentrated on paving and masonry work, and John B. Ward & Company remained focused on tree and shrub care. 


Dedicated to the Main Line, John Ward’s thriving interest in trees and shrubs led him to the International Society of Arboriculture, an association of tree care professionals. He served as president of the Pennsylvania and Delaware chapter in 1977 and still stands as a founding member of the prestigious National Certified Arborist program he helped create. 


John B. Ward & Company continued to grow in the 1980s, becoming a true “family business” in 1986. Helping his father from as early as he can remember, Jim Ward officially joined him full time once he graduated from Delaware Valley College with a degree in ornamental horticulture. 

From the start, Jim’s enthusiasm for fine pruning of large trees and ornamentals proved a perfect compliment to his father’s focus on plant health. They continued learning and growing in their work together, tethered by climbing ropes for another 14 years.

Climbers competing in ISA skills competitions in the 1990’s

As John Ward began to consider retirement around 2000, the company was well prepared as other ISA Certified Arborists had joined the team, including sons Matt Ward and Chris Ward.  

Today, John B. Ward & Company has grown to a team of 13 ISA Certified Arborists.  The company continues to concentrate on Main Line trees and properties still close to the boundaries where the business began.  Since the beginning, the company has developed a greater depth of expertise in each of their practices.  Growing the knowledge and professionalism of the company, they carefully and respectfully retain many of their earliest client relationships, adding only those they can promise a consistent level of equal care.


Caring For The Main Line's Canopy Since 1957

Recent News



October 13, 2022

Join us for our Tree Climbing Workshop

Tree Workers with One-to-Two-Years Experience and Persons with More or Less Experience are invited to participate in our first annual Tree Climbing Workshop...

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April 25, 2022

Join our Team

Got a passion for Tree Care?  Harbor a love for working outdoors? Join The Area’s Top Tree Care Company servicing the Main Line...

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April 01, 2022

Callery Pear

I remember the Bradford Callery pear trees along South Street in Philadelphia. Planted in the 1960s, they created an allée of dark-trunked, white-flowered...

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