We have had the distinct pleasure of servicing the Main Line and surrounding areas since 1957. Our top priority is providing the best tree and shrub care in the safest and most innovative manner.
A passion for tree care, the love of working outdoors, and the ability to carry on the tradition of excellent customer service are key ingredients we look for in every employee.
As we continue to expand, we are looking for talented people to join our team. Work side by side with the industry’s leading team of professional arborists
Excellent Hourly Pay
Medical, Dental & Vision Coverage
Paid Holidays, Sick Days & Vacations
Paid Educational & CEU Programs
Will Train & Pay for CDL & Certified Arborist Exam
Opportunities for advancement
We caught up with foreman Keith Hernan to hear what it’s like to work on the trees along the Main Line.
(Reveal his answers below)
I started a little over 5 years ago. I had been working in the tree industry in Harrisburg for 6 years. I wanted to move to the Philadelphia area, so I spoke with some friends who were well connected. They said if I wanted to work for anyone here, it would be John B. Ward & Co. So I called the office and pretty much demanded an interview, and then spoke with Matt Ward and Jim Ward.
I started as a climber #2. I had been a foreman before, so there was a 4-week trial period to make sure I could do everything. I started in February, it was snowing, it was raining, it was cold and I showed up to work every day. I volunteered to come in and work on Saturdays for overtime. It didn’t matter what kind of day it was, I was coming back regardless.
Jim Roach is our head foreman. He’s been at the company the longest and he’s the most skilled. Jim is in charge of bringing new guys on board and getting them up in a tree for the first time. Once they are up to speed, he signs off and says, “Alright this guy is ready and prepared.”
A new person can go straight to any foreman with a question. It’s ok to admit if you don’t know something. You might not feel like asking questions, but I’d rather you ask than get hurt trying to do something you don’t know how to do. And if I’m not available, we all have the answers, really so you can ask anyone.
A foreman sets up the job, and most importantly maintains a safe worksite and trains new employees. So on each crew, there’s a foreman and a skilled #2 climber. Then we have one or two guys in charge of cleaning up and maintaining everything on the ground while the climbers are in the air.
Everyone on our crew is pretty well rounded. Then, there are big tree specialists and little tree specialists. The ornamental trees require a lot more patience — and it’s more detail oriented. It’s more like an art form. With a big tree, you’ve just got to get up there and be willing to cut something with a chainsaw that could potentially fall and break something, and not be scared to do that. I’m more of a big tree specialist.
A regular driver’s license is required. Some of our trucks are CDL vehicles, and a lot of them are not. A CDL is not required, but is encouraged.
Safety is the most important. We have a safety meeting every single Friday from 6:45 to 7:15 and we’ll go over anything that’s happened in the last week. We’ll talk about wearing proper gear for the weather, hydrating, and safety on the roads. Then, day-to-day, we’re always required to wear helmets, safety glasses and hearing protection. If there’s something available as far as PPE, it’s mandated.
Literally, safety impacts every single thing we do. For instance, if we’re going to make a cut, we don’t just cut and hope it lands in the best spot possible. We would put a rope on, and then cut and then control the limb as it comes down. So that way it doesn't land on a shed or car or whatever is below. Everything is under complete control at all times.
I think it’s really cool. I love the architecture of the houses. With the topography in Philly, you get small flat square yards, hilly, odd shaped yards. You get big trees, little trees, stuff on the side of a cliff. It can really vary from one spot to the other. We can go to work on a thousand acre farm one day, and then work on South Street, in downtown Philly the next day.
We’ll start off cutting down a big massive tree in the morning, and we’ll finish that before lunch. Then in the afternoon we’ll do some small ornamental pruning, which kind of just goes to show our variety of skill. Not only can we come in cut down a big tree- but we can also step lightly in between flowers, and prune ornamental trees with precision rather than just power. We have the skill set to kind of take care of it all, which I find very important.
Some companies have good equipment, some have good climbers, some have good management. Here, we literally have it all. We’ve got great people in charge of training and great management. We’ve got a great shop, great equipment. It’s really one of the few companies that, from top to bottom, checks all the boxes. The Wards, John, Matt, Chris, Jim, everyone, they really do treat you like you’re their family. They care about you, they want the best for you. The pay is good, the benefits are good, retirement is good.
People who climb trees all say the same thing, “I could NEVER work in an office.” That’s just a mindset thing. If you put your head down and work, regardless if it’s an easy job or a hard job, you’d be a good fit. It’s hard work, it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s raining, it’s snowing, and you’ve got to be willing to not let it bother you. As long as you work hard, and stay off your phone, we’ve got a spot for you.
"It’s really one of the few companies that from top to bottom checks all the boxes."
Valid driver’s license required.
Prior experience in arboriculture preferred.
Please contact our office to schedule an interview.