Our strength is in our people and the decisions they make every day. From our salesmen, to our office staff, to the great tree climbers, our mechanic, to the guys that pick up the brush, and the guys that spray the trees. They are just great people.
When we meet someone with a genuine interest in trees and tree care, we encourage them to join us. We equip them with the tools to complete a job properly. From there, we like to continue their education with on-the-job training and seminars. We’re growing a team of ISA Certified Arborists – and we encourage as much continuing education as possible.
And we enjoy it all. It’s exciting to prove to someone new how much we love taking care of trees. We have so much fun and it shows in the work we do.
When we meet someone with a genuine interest in trees and tree care, we encourage them to join us.
With over 30 years of tree care experience, Jim still enjoys “learning new plants and how to care for them.” As President of our company, Jim’s commitment to our business and his clients shines through every day. Most rewarding for him is “being outside every day – working with great employees, valued clients and lots of trees.”
Active in the industry, Jim is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists and Pennsylvania Grounds Management Society. Currently, he is chairman of the Radnor Township Shade Tree Commission.
His Bachelor of Science degree in ornamental horticulture is from Delaware Valley College.
With free time, Jim enjoys restoring old cars and trucks and may have a picture to share on request.
Jim lives in Radnor with his wife Nancy and has three children: James, Pete and Bonnie. The family also includes dogs: George, Eddie and Lizzy. Along with cats: Archie, Notchie and Wilton. Lastly, grand dog Beau visits often. Sounds like a busy house.
“I really enjoy meeting with clients and walking their properties year after year. Caring for trees and shrubs is a long term process and I feel so fortunate to work in a community with really nice people and great trees.”
Matt is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, and member of Professional Grounds Management Society, Community Associations Institute and Lower Merion Conservancy.
He remembers visiting customers at a young age with his Dad, John Ward.
“At six years old, the highlight was to stop at the pharmacy in Wynnewood - sit at the counter on a really old stool and order a Sprite and donut. I was lucky to grow up in a small family business, my parents instilled values that we use every day.”
Matt earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Dickinson College before beginning his career in tree care. His favorite tree is the European Beech tree.
“Often, they were planted on large estate homes, from 1900 to 1925. The owners knew that future generations would be in a position to appreciate the trees as they matured.”
Matt’s hobbies include industrial history, reading and sports – both as a player and an attending fan. He still thinks he can knock down his 18-foot jump shot.
Matt lives in Rosemont with his wife, Christina and sons, Matthew and John.
Chris designs strategies for helping plants with insect and disease issues; a capability for which he has extensive experience.
“Often, we are called in to respond to trees not looking well. Once we react to a disease or insect issue, we want to begin to discuss proactive strategies to help trees and shrubs thrive in their environment.”
As our Plant Health Care manager, Chris is responsible for constantly researching the latest treatment techniques and products available to us. Our goal is to utilize the most environmentally friendly products and carefully manage the timing of treatments for maximum effectiveness.
“I learned from truly the best Plant Health Care professional - my Dad. He was always thinking of specific trees on clients’ properties, the weather and the timing of his sprays.”
Chris earned a Bachelor of Biology degree from Penn State University.
His hobbies include cycling, astronomy and obscure Trivial Pursuit questions.
A Bryn Mawr resident, he lives with his wife, Heather, and children, Colin, Bridget and Torin.
After graduating from Paul Smith’s College in 2003, John joined the company and is now in his 11th year. Arriving for his first interview in a shirt and tie, John was polite, professional and prepared for the meeting. These traits remain evident today as his clients appreciate his patience and attentive nature. John has developed into a master ornamental pruner and key member of our company.
John was interested in tree care at an early age, “I really enjoy being outdoors and being active. Trees are critical to our environment that sustains us.”
His favorite tree is the Eastern Hemlock. “It is the Pennsylvania State tree and lives to be hundreds of years old.”
A long-range outlook for caring for trees has developed John’s expertise in structure pruning young trees. This skill fits well with his focus on “caring for the environment for generations to come!”
John’s hobbies include hunting, gardening, history and tinkering.
His associate degree in forest technology is from Paul Smith’s College. With his wife, Debbie and daughter, Anna, John lives in Springfield.
James is a third generation International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. After earning an associate degree in forest technology from Paul Smith’s College, James now enjoys all aspects of tree care, especially pruning and cabling trees.
“I am lucky to have been trained by my father and grandfather, both ISA Certified Arborists.”
Hobbies include restoring cars, gardening and spending time with his family. James resides in King of Prussia.
With thirty years experience, Ken is a knowledgeable, seasoned arborist.
“I am a fortunate to be doing what I love to do, and to be working with people who feel the same way. I am glad to say that I still work for some original clients, and their grown children, now with families of their own.”
Ken is a true expert in all phases of Tree Preservation including designing insect and disease control programs.
Growing up near 28th and Allegheny in Philadelphia, Ken would ride his bike at every opportunity to Fairmount Park, to see and enjoy the “urban forest.” His early interest in trees led him to obtain an Associate of Science degree from Temple University School of Horticulture.
Ken is active with many organizations:
Ken’s current favorite tree is Emmenopterys henryi – a rare tree of extraordinary beauty. His hobbies include photography, writing, natural science, gardening, foraging, cooking, biking and music.
Ken lives in Blue Bell with his wife Zairene and has two children, Isabelle and Phillip.
The Penn-Del Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture conducts a skill competition every year. The winner represents the Penn-Del Chapter at the international competition. Jim has won the Chapter Tree Climbing Competition seven times and has competed all over the country at the international competitions.
A key member of our team, Jim is responsible for climber training and development as well as safety for our company. A 19-year veteran, Jim brings tremendous energy and focus to our clients’ properties every day.
An International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist and a Tree Care Industry Association Certified Treecare Safety Professional, Jim is the chair of our Safety Committee and runs our weekly safety meeting.
Jim’s favorite tree to climb is the American Elm due to “the level of difficulty” and his next favorite is the White Oak for its “strong and enduring” nature.
Jim’s hobbies include teaching and gardening. He enjoys spending time with his family at their home in Turnersville, NJ, with his wife Deb and children, Jimmy, Patrick and Christopher.
“The best part of my job? Well, when I am finished pruning a tree and descend to the ground, I like to look up and study my work. When I know the pruning is just right, it’s a really good feeling.”
Tadd is a talented arborist who grew up liking to be outside and backpacking in the woods. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ecology from Millersville University, Tadd worked in other industries before focusing his career on tree care.
Experienced with all aspects of tree preservation, Tadd has developed into an expert pruner and crew leader. His favorite tree is the White Oak.
“Its form, aesthetics and unique growth pattern are unmatched; especially with older mature trees.”
Hobbies include being a “jack-of-all-trades handyman” around the house, gardening and enjoying the outdoors.
Tadd lives in Lansdowne with his wife, Vanessa, and children, River and Esme.
Hugh brings a wealth of experience and practical working knowledge to our company and clients. His horticultural training started sophomore year in high school when he entered a horticultural program.
“By the end of the year, I never looked back. Senior year I was able to participate in a co-op, pruning orchards and by the end of it - I knew what I was doing …trees!”
Working with clients to design and implement pruning and Plant Health Care programs, Hugh is a true “people person”. He brings genuine enthusiasm and passion for proper tree care to his clients’ properties every day.
Hugh’s Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture is from Penn State University and he is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. His professional experience includes service as the Arborist Foreman at Longwood Gardens where he was responsible for safety and care of all trees on the grounds and climbing and plant health care crews.
Hugh resides in Elizabethtown with his wife Louise and has two children, Max and Mary.
His hobbies include: sailing, running and open water swimming. His latest adventures include swimming around Manhattan on a relay team and a solo swim around the Statue of Liberty.
Gus became an ISA Certified Arborist in 2008 when his then-supervisor encouraged him to become the ‘Steward of the Trees’ for Cabrini University’s campus, where he was the Grounds Manager for 20 years.
Gus has worked in grounds operations for over 35 years, which has given him broad knowledge of plants and trees, and how they can positively affect people and the landscape. “It always makes me happy to meet people who are interested in the outdoors and their surroundings. Being part of Ward’s team gives me opportunities to engage with our clients who genuinely care about their properties.”
Gus assists Chris Ward in managing the Plant Health Care Division crews, ensuring they have the resources to provide thorough, appropriate, and effective treatments. He also leads the recruiting and promotion efforts for the company.
Gus also has a background in photography, loves detailing vehicles, and woodworking. At his home near Wayne, he enjoys working with his wife Kim (his other assistant position!), helping to manage their own landscape. His favorite tree is a tie between a shagbark hickory (great fall color and amazing bark) and dawn redwood (prehistoric!).
Pete is a third generation International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. He graduated from Delaware Valley University with a Bachelor of Science degree in ornamental horticulture. During his years in school, Pete was drawn to the tree climbing aspect of arboriculture.
Mentoring under Jim Roach and Tadd Leaman, and the other foremen at John B. Ward Co., Pete quickly developed into a very competent foreman and crew leader. “The focus, challenge and attention to detail is what made me fall in love with arboriculture. You develop a strong mentality to overcome obstacles on a day to day basis. I feel this focus has helped me on all aspects of my life. I also love working with my family and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am truly lucky.”
When not as work, Pete enjoys yoga, training jiu jitsu, and working out. He believes that all these activities help him to continually improve as a leader and tree climber.
A 12-year veteran of our Plant Health Care team, Jack is an expert in tree insect and disease issues and designs Plant Health Care programs for many of our clients. When he’s not working, Jack enjoys hiking with his wife, Lindsay and son, River, in Valley Forge Park. Jack also enjoys listening to local musicians and vacationing at the New Jersey shore. His favorite tree is the coral bark Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Sango-Kaku’.
Miles has been a valuable member of our Plant Health Care team since he joined us in 2017. Miles is an expert in tree and shrub insect and disease issues. Outside work, Miles enjoys reading, going on walks with his dogs and taking care of a variety of plants and animals at his home. His favorite tree is the ginkgo, Ginkgo biloba.
Justin, who joined our Plant Health Care team in the spring of 2022, has a strong background in treating trees and shrubs for insect and disease issues. In his spare time, Justin enjoys beekeeping, hiking and reading. His favorite tree is the copper beech, Fagus sylvatica ‘purpurea’.