"This USDA website will not be updated during a lapse in federal funding. Content on this website will not be current or maintained until funding issues have been resolved. However, if there is information that affects security, life, and property, this website will continue to update that information during a funding lapse."

Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes - Guidelines for Authors

Tree Planters' Notes - Guidelines for Authors

Editorial Policy

Tree Planters' Notes (TPN) is a journal dedicated to technology transfer and publication of information relating to nursery production and outplanting of trees and shrubs for reforestation, restoration, and conservation. TPN welcomes manuscripts on any subject within the scope of the journal. Examples of past issues can be viewed at the Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetics Resources website: http://www.RNGR.net/publications/tpn.

Submitting Articles

Send electronic files by e-mail or traditional mail to:

Diane L. Haase
Western Nursery Specialist
Editor, Tree Planters' Notes
USDA Forest Service
PO Box 3623
Portland, OR 97208
phone: 503.808.2349

Include a cover letter with the mailing address, email address, and telephone number of the corresponding author. Please label all CDs carefully with name(s) of author(s) and file(s).The editor will notify you of receipt of the manuscript. Revisions should be returned to the editor at the above address in a timely manner. Page proofs sent after acceptance and layout must be proofread carefully and returned promptly to the address that accompanies the proofs.


Text: Manuscripts must be in a Microsoft Word compatible format and must be IBM-PC compatible. Refrain from special formatting. Please do not embed photos, maps, charts, graphs, or figures into the manuscript text.

After the manuscript title, list the complete name(s), title(s), affiliation(s), and address (es) of the author(s). Include a brief abstract (150 words or less) followed by the text, references, figure captions, and tables. Total length of the paper should not exceed 6,000 words.

Tables: Create tables using the Table feature in Word; refrain from formatting tables with tabs or the space bar. Include tables at the end of the manuscript. Tables should be logical and understandable without reading the text. Tables should be numbered consecutively (table 1, table 2, table 3, etc.) and each should be referred to in the text.

Figures: Illustrations, charts, maps, graphs, and photos are all considered figures. Each figure must be submitted separately; do not embed in the text. Digital photos must be at least 300 dpi, with a minimum output of 5x7. Submit each illustration as a separate file using a standard format such as JPEG, TIFF, or EPS. All figures must be numbered consecutively (figure 1, 2, 3, etc.) and referred to in the text. At the end of the manuscript, include clear, thorough figure and photo captions labeled in the same way as the corresponding material (figure 1, 2, 3 etc.). Please do not include captions within the figure. Captions should make photos and illustrations understandable without reading the text. For figures, indicate the source and citation. For photos, indicate the name and affiliation of the photographer and the year the photo was taken.

Style: TPN uses the spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, and other styles recommended in the United States Government Printing Office Style Manual, as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Try to keep titles concise and descriptive; subheadings and bulleted material are useful and help readability. As a general rule of clear writing, use the active voice (e.g., write "Nursery managers know..." and not, "It is known..."). Note: modern, proportionate fonts no longer require double spacing after each sentence.

  • Use numerals when referring to money, time, and measurement and for all numbers above 10.
  • Abbreviate all units, except those with no numerical value (for example, "results are provided in parts per million" in contrast to "only 0.05 ppm was effective").
  • Provide both English and metric units for all values.
  • Nomenclature — Use common names of organisms, if available, in the title, abstract, and text. At first mention in the abstract and in the text, provide the scientific name with authority in parentheses, e.g. white pine (Pinus strobus L.) The taxonomic standard for USDA publications is the Integrated Taxonomic Information System online database (http://www.itis.gov).



List citations in the text alphabetically by author (for example: Baker 2009, Garcia and Calhoun 1994, Roberts 1988, Smith et al. 2013, Wong 2009). Separate citations with a comma unless citing more than one publication by the same author; when that occurs, use a semi-colon (for example, Anderson 2009, 2013; Jackson 2012).


  • In the references section, list references alphabetically by author, then by date, with oldest first. When there are multiple articles by the same author, list first those articles with one author only, oldest first; then list articles with two authors, and so on, alphabetically by second author, oldest first.
  • For journal articles, use the full journal name, rather than the abbreviated version.
  • For meeting proceedings, follow the date and location of the meeting with the city of publication and publishing body. If the proceedings are a part of a Government publication series, put that information after the publishing body.
  • For online resources, provide the URL and the month accessed.

Example References

Journal article
Graham, J.S.; Joyner, P.A. 2011. Tree planting in Alaska. Tree Planters' Notes. 54(2): 4-11.
Entire book
Pallardy, S.G. 2008. Physiology of woody plants. 3rd ed. Burlington, MA: Academic Press. 454 p.
Chapter in book
Goorahoo, D.; Sharma, F.C.; Adhikari, D.D.; Benes S.E. 2011. Soil-water-plant relations. In: Stetson, L.E.; Mecham, B.Q., editors. Irrigation. 6th ed. Falls Church, VA: Irrigation Association: 23-73. Chapter 3.
Article in proceedings
Dumroese, R.K.; Jacobs, D.F.; Davis, A.S.; Pinto, J.R.; Landis, T.D. 2007. An introduction to subirrigation in forest and conservation nurseries and some preliminary results of demonstrations. In: Riley, L.E.; Dumroese, R.K.; Landis, T.D., tech. coords. National proceedings, forest and conservation nursery associations––2006. Proceedings RMRS-P-50. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 20–26.
Thesis or dissertation
Akgul, A. 2004. Performance of slash pine (Pinus elliotti engelm) containerized rooted cuttings and bare-root seedlings established on five planting dates in the flatlands of western Louisiana. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University. 91 p. Ph.D. dissertation.
Online resource
Bardon, R.E.; Megalos, M.A.; New, B.; Brogan, S., eds. 2010. North Carolina’s forest resources assessment: a statewide analysis of the past, current and projected future conditions of North Carolina’s forest resources. Raleigh: North Carolina Division of Forest Resources. 489 p. http://www.ncforestassessment.com. (January 2011).

Release Authorization

Non-Federal Government authors must sign a release to allow their work to be in the public domain and on the World Wide Web. In addition, all photos and illustrations require a written release by the photographer or illustrator. The author, photo, and illustration release forms are available from the Editor. Authors are furnished copies of the issue in which their article appears. We do not provide reprints, but this publication may be reproduced without permission. When reproducing, please include the name of the author(s) and the volume and issue of Tree Planters' Notes.

Document Actions
Personal tools