Scientists & Staff

Patrick Brose

Research Forester
PO Box 267
Irvine, PA, 16329
Phone: 814-563-1040

Contact Patrick Brose

Current Research

My current research emphasis is on the oak regeneration problem. I am responsible for five separate studies. They are:

  1. root development of oak seedlings growing in shelterwood stands,
  2. esponse of mountain laurel to chemical, cultural, and mechanical control practices,
  3. uantifying fuel loadings and fire behavior in oak forests,
  4. esponse of northern red oak seedlings to forest liming, and
  5. dendroecology of xeric oak – pine forests.

Research Interests

Given the intractable nature of the oak regeneration problem, I?ll likely be engaged in oak research for quite some time.

Why This Research is Important

Oak forests are the dominant forest type in much of the eastern United States yet they face a myriad of problems that prevent their regeneration. My research addresses several of those regeneration obstacles and my results help foresters be better stewards of oak forests


  • Clemson University, Ph.D. Forest Resources,
  • Pennsylvania State University, M.S. Forest Resources,
  • Utah State University, B.S. Forest Resources,

Professional Organizations

  • Society of American Foresters (SAF) (1988 - Present)
  • American Chestnut Foundation (2000 - Present)

Awards & Recognition

  • National Silviculture Award, 2015 Awarded biennially by the U.S. Forest Service to a scientist for outstanding contributions in the field of silviculture.
  • National Hardwood Research Award, 1998 Presented by the National hardwood Lumber Association for the development of the shelterwood - burn technique.

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

One of the spring prescribed fires conducted on the Allegheny National Forest to test the feasibility of the shelterwood – burn technique for regenerating mixed-oak forests.  The burn was conducted in early May 2005.  Note the flame lengths (stump is 18 inches tall) and the degree of leaf expansion by the understory trees.  Photo by Patrick Brose.

Fire Returns to the Allegheny National Forest, and Oak and Black Cherry Thrive

Year: 2020

After a century of absence from the Allegheny Plateau of northwestern Pennsylvania, prescribed fire has been reintroduced as a means of perpetuating the mixed-oak forests of the Allegheny National Forest.

Photo 1.  A typical mountain laurel thicket in a mixed-oak forest in central Pennsylvania.  Such thickets prevent oak seedlings from becoming established and developing into competitive reproduction.  Note the 8-foot range pole in the center of the photo to appreciate the density and height of the shrubs. 
Photo 2.  A fall prescribed fire being conducted by Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry personnel in a mountain laurel thicket that had been cut approximately 2 years earlier.  Initially, this combination of treatments showed the most promise of controlling mountain laurel, but after 5 years the shrubs had sprouted and the thicket was quickly reforming.

How not to kill mountain laurel

Year: 2017

Sometimes failure can be as important as success when it comes to developing appropriate silvicultural treatments for controlling interfering understory vegetation. A Forest Service scientist succeeded in establishing that seven common treatments do not work when it comes to controlling mountain laurel, a pervasive problem in eastern forests.

A mixed-oak forest with a dense understory of mountain laurel in eastern Pennsylvania. Note the 8-foot range pole in the center of the photograph. Recent research shows that when mountain laurel cover exceeds 25 percent, regenerating oaks becomes extremely difficult. Pat Brose, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Understanding Mountain Laurel’s Impact on Oak Regeneration

Year: 2016

When did the dense understories of mountain laurel seen in some mixed-oak forests become established, and why? How dense does mountain laurel have to be to interfere with oak regeneration?

This black cherry seedling is infected with black cherry leaf spot. Managers and scientists have observed this infection more frequently in recent years. Robert Long, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Changes in Black Cherry on the Allegheny Plateau

Year: 2016

Increased tree mortality, decreased seed production, and seedling growth. Managers and scientists have been observing these changes in black cherry on the Allegheny Plateau and are working together to sharpen the research focus and utilize long-term research to improve forest management.

Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2022