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Trees in Brownian excursions have been studied since the late 1980s. Forests in excursions of Brownian motion above its past minimum are a natural extension of this notion. In this paper we study a forest-valued Markov process which describes the growth of the Brownian forest. The key result is a composition rule for binary Galton--Watson forests with i.i.d. exponential branch lengths. We give elementary proofs of this composition rule and explain how it is intimately linked with Williams' decomposition for Brownian motion with drift.doi:10.1214/009117905000000422 fatcat:vsv5ub26qnfrnk5twua2cj3vsm