Scientists & Staff

Dr. John Brown

John Brown

Research Forester
301 Hardwood Lane, Suite B
Princeton, WV, 24740
Phone: 304-431-2731

Contact John Brown

Current Research

  1. Developing site index curves for central Appalachian red spruce.
  2. Modeling growth and yield for red spruce and Appalachian Hardwoods, with emphasis on shade tolerant species.
  3. Examination of the effect of silvicultural treatment on tree grade.

Research Interests

Forest biometrics, Silviculture, Forest Disturbance, Energy Development Issues in Forestry.

Why This Research is Important

Growth and yield modeling is an important tool for consultants, land managers, and software developers with new models needing to be developed for Appalachian forests. Appalachian hardwoods are an important component of the area's hardwood forest products industry and the effects of silvicultural treatment on tree quality (tree grade) can further guide management's long term growing choices. Central Appalachian red spruce stands are endangered ecosystems in need of restoration.


  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University , Doctor Of Philosophy Forestry and Forest Products (Forest Biometrics), 2009
  • Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, B.S. Environmental Science, 1994

Professional Experience

  • Research Forester, USDA Forest Service 2010 - Current
  • Mathematical Statistician, USDA Forest Service 2000 - 2009

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

The mean proportion of grade 1 butt logs for the diameter-limit, single tree selection, and partial cutting harvests as estimated at 15 year fixed intervals. USDA Forest Service

Silvicultural Prescriptions Affect Hardwood Tree Quality Over Five Decades of Management

Year: 2015

Analysis of 50-year records of harvests on the Fernow Experimental Forest in west Virginia by Forest Service scientists demonstrates that diameter-limit cutting is not a sustainable practice in regard to tree quality. In contrast, single-tree selection has not affected stand quality and is sustainable.

Proportion of grade one trees harvested over time for three harvest types. John Brown, USDA Forest Service.

Sustaining Tree Quality Under Three Harvesting Methods

Year: 2014

The quality of trees grown and harvested under various methods exhibits changing patterns over time. A Forest Service scientist studied three methods to determine the sustainability of the options over the long term. Although the number of trees harvested was initially significantly higher from both patch cutting and single tree selection, the percentage of trees cut from diameter-limit plots decreased over time whereas the patch cutting and single tree selection practices have increasing percentages. At close to fifty years, the practices have converged in percentages and suggest that the diameter practice is on an unsustainable curve while patch cutting and single tree selection are more sustainable choices.

Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2014