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Instructions to Authors

Please note that the journal now encourages authors to complete their copyright licence to publish form online.

Oxford open and colour charges are optional, you may choose to publish free of charge if you wish.


Articles published may deal with any aspect of physiology, including growth, morphogenesis, photosynthesis, nutrition, pathology, reproduction, evolution, environmental adaptation, symbioses, heredity, metabolism, molecular biology and relationships between structure and function. Also published are articles dealing with physiological aspects of biotechnology, environmental management and the economic use of woody species, and their genetic transformation and micropropagation, and with responses of forest, crop, ornamental tree and other woody species to acid rain, air pollutants, ultraviolet radiation and global warming.


Tree Physiology promotes research in a framework of hierarchically organized systems, measuring insight by the ability to link adjacent layers: thus, investigated tree physiology phenomenon should seek mechanistic explanation in finer-scale phenomena as well as seek significance in larger-scale phenomena (Passioura 1979). A phenomenon not linked downscale is merely descriptive; an observation not linked upscale might be trivial. Physiologists often refer qualitatively to processes at finer or coarser scale than the scale of their observation, and studies formally directed at three, or even two adjacent scales are rare. To emphasize the importance of relating mechanisms to coarser scale function, Tree Physiology will highlight papers doing so particularly well as Feature Papers.

Tree Physiology welcomes submissions of manuscripts on research of non-tree woody and arborescent species (shrubs, vines, tree ferns, palms, bamboo). It invites submissions on new methods designed to improve estimates of quantities of structural components and flux of matter, energy and information relevant to the structure and the function of these species.

Tree Physiology also welcomes those manuscripts on genomics demonstrating a clear link and relevance to tree physiology.

Authors who prepared short, hard-hitting manuscripts are encouraged to submit them as Tree Physiology Letters that will be fast tracked through the review process with the help of the Editorial Review Board.

Tree Physiology now offers free online publication of colour figures.


Tree Physiology is intended primarily as a medium for reporting original research, both theoretical and experimental, although technical reviews are also included. Preliminary reports, or reports presenting results of only one aspect of a larger study, will normally be declined.

Articles must be written clearly, concisely and in correct English. Articles of excessive length are returned for condensation. Authors whose knowledge of English is limited should obtain the assistance of a scientifically qualified English-language editor before submitting their work to Tree Physiology. Manuscripts in need of extensive editing or rewriting are returned without review.

Each issue of Tree Physiology may include:

1. Research Papers
2. Technical Notes
3. Feature Papers (Hierarchical System Papers) with accompanying Commentary
4. Letters
5. Tree Physiology Reviews and Invited Reviews
6. Commentaries
7. Book Reviews

In the letter accompanying their submission, authors are requested to identify the scales directly addressed by the study (e.g., molecules, organ physiology, whole plant physiology, ecophysiology, and Integration/synthesis ).

Research Papers

1. Most papers that appear in Tree Physiology are Research Papers. These report on (1) work investigating a newly formulated problem using new (but tested) tools specifically suitable to address the problem; and (2) manuscripts that address newly formulated problems using established methods.

Reviewers and Editors will be asked to identify observational manuscripts (i.e. describing an interesting phenomenon without studying underlying mechanisms or significance), and confirmatory manuscripts that are done well and are interesting for a particular reason (e.g., observing a known phenomenon in an interesting or rarely investigated setting). To be considered for publication, these studies, dealing with a single scale, should best contain some experimental manipulations that can provide mechanistic insights. Strictly observational papers should focus on new or poorly described phenomena. In either case, the authors should discuss possible explanations for and significance of their observation. If space allows, these manuscripts can be published in abbreviated form (maximum of 6 pages), with the remaining information available only online.

Tree Physiology mandates a concluding section that explicitly requires consideration of processes below and above the main level of focus of the paper. Authors should include a paragraph explicitly addressing the larger context of their study, suggesting relevance (e.g., implications), and another discussing finer-scales constraints, suggesting generality (e.g., mechanisms). Some papers might be multi-scalar in focus, in which case this section would not be needed, or could just serve as a recap.

Technical Notes

2. Technical Notes are papers describing the development and application of new tools, where the tool has been tested against known standards, and its use demonstrated by addressing a physiological question. Technical Notes can also be used to describe new methods developed, for example, to parameterize existing models or scaling quantities among levels of biological systems.

Feature Papers

3. Occasionally, Tree Physiology will recognize a ‘Feature Paper’ that will be free access to maximize readership and will be accompanied by a two or three page Editorial by the handling editor in which the manuscript is put in context of existing knowledge, which will also be free access. Feature Papers will be selected from papers identified by editors as those of exceptional quality, including but not limited to papers directly addressing two or more scales. The Editorials normally accompany Feature Papers, but it would also be possible to have an Editorial highlighting a paper that appeared in a different journal.


4. Letters - These are short, hard-hitting, research papers that we would fast track for publication. Letters are limited to four printed pages. Additional information can be included online.

Tree Physiology Reviews

5. The purpose of Tree Physiology Reviews is to help define what is known in each subfield of tree physiology, thereby guiding the decision on whether a problem has been sufficiently addressed, or a method has met its limits. The purpose is also to identify questions that have not been studied and where we could be making profound and useful discoveries. The number of reviews published by other journals is rapidly increasing; our aim is to contribute only few reviews per year which are distinctly useful in guiding research of tree (and other woody species) physiology or improving the representation of tree physiological processes in large scale models. Proposals for Tree Physiology Reviews should be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief. Tree Physiology also publishes Invited Reviews as part of Invited Issues edited by an authority in a subfield of tree physiology research; the Editor of the Invited Issue solicits such reviews.


6. Commentaries are invited or unsolicited responses to other papers. These commentaries would be published as independent papers but with links to and from the paper to which they relate. This category also includes perspectives/opinions/speculations that are not necessarily tied to previously published papers, providing an opportunity to get some ideas out there which otherwise would not have a good venue. Commentaries are limited to three printed pages. Additional information can be included online.

Book Reviews

7. Tree Physiology welcomes Book Reviews that summarize, critically assess, and provide context of books on themes published in the journal. Suggestions for book reviews should be sent to the Editor-in-Chief.

Book Reviews should include an overview of contents and potential for driving research or improving education. The review should concentrate on the main premises and conclusions, identify strengths (e.g., new or surprising aspects of tree physiology), and caution of or debate weaknesses (e.g., trivial or problematic aspects). For context, the review should comment on whether the book resolved an existing discourse or is likely to generate a new one.

The format of the Book Review should be as follows: book title, names of authors or editors, name and address of publisher, year of publication, number of pages and ISSN, text of the review (up to 1200 words), notes and references, reviewer complete contact information (including organizational affiliation and email address).




Each submission should be accompanied by a Covering Letter. The letter must include (1) the title and authorship of the paper, (2) a statement indicating that the paper is a first submission, revision or a resubmission, and (3) a short summary (~60 words) of the novelty and scientific contributions of the paper.

All articles are in English. Foreign words and phrases that occur in the body of the dictionary should not be italicized.

Please also include the files for any other supplementary material to be submitted with your manuscript. Note that supplementary material may or may not be reviewed.

Please prepare your Covering Letter and typescript text using a word-processing package, ideally Microsoft Word (save in .doc or .rtf format). PDF files may be acceptable for some journals, especially if you have used Latex to write your manuscript. Typescripts should be double-spaced. Please do not embed figures, figure legends, or tables in the text. Figure legends should be listed separately at the end of the main document. Please number each page.

Please use short, simple filenames when saving all your documents, and avoid special characters, punctuation marks, symbols (such as &), and spaces. If you are a Macintosh user, you must also type the extension at the end of the file name you choose (.doc, .rtf, .jpg, .gif, .tif, .xls, .pdf, .eps, .ppt, .mov or .qt).

Other helpful hints are: (i) use the TAB key once for paragraph indents; (ii) where possible use Times New Roman for the text font and Symbol for any Greek and special characters; (iii) use the word processing formatting features to indicate Bold, Italic, Greek, Maths, Superscript and Subscript characters; (iv) please avoid using underline: for cases use italic; for emphasis use bold; (v) clearly identify unusual symbols and Greek letters; (vi) differentiate between the letter O and zero, and the letters I and l and the number 1.

The first page of the manuscript must give: title of paper, contributor names, key words and the full address (including email) of the author designated to receive proofs/correspondence. The authorship of the paper should be confined to those who have made a significant contribution to the design and execution of the work described.

Place authors' first name and initials before family name and use superscript numerals to link authors' names to addresses. Include the telephone number, fax number and e-mail address of the corresponding author, a running head of up to 50 characters and spaces, and any necessary footnotes.

Authors’ names and the running head should be in upper case letters.

Headings should be to journal style. Type unjustified, hyphenating only compound words.

A concise abstract and a list of key words describing the work must be provided. The abstract should not exceed 300 words in length. Start the abstract with a short background and objectives and end it with explicit conclusions. Do not include detailed methods. You are encouraged to include quantitative results in the abstract and to refer to one key figure of your paper. For review articles, the abstract should clearly indicate that the article is a review. To maximize discoverability of the article, the key words should include synonyms of significant words used in the title or abstract (e.g. desiccation/dryness/aridity). Duplication between title/abstract/keywords is unnecessary.

Authors are responsible for checking the accuracy of all footnotes and references.

Submission of LaTeX files

Manuscripts can be submitted as LaTeX files but a class file is not available at present. If you would like to submit your papers in LaTeX, when sending the source files for submission please ensure that all the macros used to write your paper accompany the manuscript. A pdf version of the paper must also be submitted.

Language Editing

Particularly if English is not your first language, before submitting your manuscript you may wish to have it edited for language. This is not a mandatory step, but may help to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. If you would like information about one such service please click here. There are other specialist language editing companies that offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services. OUP offers pre-submission language editing through Oxford Language Editing, a service for researchers all over the world. Language editing, particularly if English is not your first language, can be used to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by the journal editors and reviewers. Visit to find out more about the freelance editors available and the different services offered. Please note that edited manuscripts will still need to undergo peer-review by the journal.

Units and abbreviations

Système International (SI) units of measure and their abbreviations should normally be used; although certain non-SI units are also acceptable including litre (l), minute (min), day, week and year, the last three of which should be spelled out in full. Non-standard abbreviations should be defined at the first occurrence and introduced only where multiple use is made.

When applicable, please use well-established abbreviations for concepts and variables. Otherwise, please construct a non-standard abbreviation by using one capitalized letter accompanied with subscripts as needed.

Whole numbers less than 10 are spelled out unless followed by a unit of measure. Otherwise, numbers are represented by numerals provided that they do not occur as the first word in a sentence.

The accuracy of a calculated result is limited by the least accurate measurement in the calculation. Please make sure that the presentation of the results in the text, tables, and figures reflects this principle. When presenting results from statistical tests, estimates of probability (P-value) should be given. Estimates of P-value and coefficient of determination (R2) should be expressed using no more than two and three decimal places, respectively.


Italicize letters representing statistical parameters (e.g., P and F).

Italicize abbreviations comprising a single letter of the Roman alphabet, although any subscript or superscript will not normally be italicized (e.g., Ia or Amax).

Do not italicize Greek symbols or multi-letter abbreviations (e.g., Ψ or LAI).

Italicize Latin binomials, e.g., Nothofagus nitida.

Italicize gene names, but not names of proteins.

Do not italicize common Latin phrases and abbreviations which are found in Webster’s dictionary, for example, in vitro, etc. (et cetera), e.g. (exempli gratia), i.e. (id est), et al. (et alii (m.), et aliae (f.), et alia (n.)). Avoid Latin phrases where equivalent English terms exist.

Species names

Common names of organisms may be used provided that in every case the Latin binomial and authority are given in parentheses following the first use in both the abstract and the body of the paper.

Materials and methods

The description of experimental procedures should be sufficient to allow repetition of the work. Details should be omitted where reference can be made to published procedures. Except in the case of standard procedures, however, methods should be outlined even when reference is made to a published description. Procedures published in sources that will not be readily available to most readers of Tree Physiology should be described in full.


Acknowledgements and details of non-financial support must be included at the end of the text before references and not in footnotes. Personal acknowledgements should precede those of institutions or agencies. Please note that acknowledgement of funding bodies should be given in a separate Funding section.


Articles cited in the text will be referred to by the name(s) of the author(s) with the year of publication in parentheses. If both are in parentheses, no punctuation separates the name(s) of the authors(s) and the year of publication. Consecutive citations in the text are placed in chronological order and separated by commas. If there are more than two authors, only the first author's name is given, and this is followed by the phrase et al., which should be in roman, not italic, type (e.g. Kramer 1986, Day et al. 2002).

Beginning on a separate sheet, references should be listed alphabetically at the end of the article thus:

Journal article
Bahn M, Janssens IA, Reichstein M, Smith P, Trumbore SE (2010) Soil respiration across scales: towards an integration of patterns and processes. New Phytol 186:292–296.

Daily GC (ed) (1997) Nature’s services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Chapters in books
Wilkens RT, Ayres MP, Lorio PL Jr, Hodges JD (1998) Environmental effects on pine tree carbon budgets and resistance to bark beetles. In: Mickler RA, Fox S (eds) The productivity and sustainability of southern forest ecosystems in a changing environment. Springer, New York, pp 591–616.

Public Health Laboratory Service. Antimicrobial resistance in 2000: England and Wales. (7 January 2012, date last accessed).

Biological Abstracts should be used as a guide to the abbreviation of journal titles. Personal communications, unpublished works, or papers in preparation or submitted for publication should not be listed as references, but incorporated in the text.


Please upload separate table files, for production purposes.

Tables should be typed with double spacing, but minimizing redundant space, and each should be placed on a separate sheet. Each table should be numbered in sequence using Arabic numerals. Tables should also have a title above and an explanatory footnote below, if required. Units in which results are expressed should be given in parentheses at the top of each column and not repeated in each line of the table. Ditto signs are not used. Avoid overcrowding the tables and the excessive use of words. The format of tables should be in keeping with that normally used by the journal; in particular, vertical lines, coloured text and shading should not be used. Please ensure that the data given in tables are correct.


Tree Physiology now offers free online publication of colour figures.

When submitting your manuscript, please note, we can proceed with a pdf copy or a doc file displaying all figures and tables for the initial review only. Please check that the figures and tables are displayed clearly in the pdf created online for peer review purposes. Please ensure separate figure legends are included at the end of the main document after the references.

The original separate figure files will be required at the revision stage, for production purposes if your manuscript is accepted for publication. Please note we are unable to proceed with processing your manuscript, until the original files have been uploaded.

The original figures will be required at a minimum resolution of 600 d.p.i. for line drawings and combination half-tones (images containing pictures and text labelling and/or thin lines) and 300 d.p.i. for colour and half-tone artwork without text labelling. If you have figures that will be published in colour online but printed in black and white please supply both black and white and colour versions of these figures. The maximum size for uploaded files is 200MB.

For guidelines on how to create good images or to check whether the images work, see

When reproduced at final size, lettering on figures (which must be of the same style for all figures in a paper) should be 1.5 to 2.5 mm in height (capitals and numerals). A multi-part figure must be assembled to fit a single page.

Figures should be designed to fit one (8.23 cm), one and a half (11.5–12.5 cm), or two (17.16 cm) column widths, with a maximum height of 23.4 cm. For the best reproduction, figures should be submitted at the final size.

When creating figures, please make sure any embedded text is large enough to read. Many figures contain miniscule characters such as numbers on a chart or graph. If these characters are not easily readable, they will most likely be illegible in the final version. Certain image formats such as .jpg and .gif do not have high resolutions, so you may elect to save your figures as .eps or .tif instead. The preferred formats for figure files are .eps or .tif for line drawings and greyscale, and .tif for halftones, combination images and colour images. Note that .eps is preferred for line drawings (e.g. graphs) as this is vector-based software and allows smaller file sizes. .eps is also recommended for SigmaPlot conversion.

For file conversion please go to for a free tool to convert your figures or documents to another format.

We'd be delighted if you happen to have (a) suitable high-resolution colour image(s), which we might be able to consider for the front cover of the issue in which your paper will appear. The image(s) should relate to your article but do not have to appear in it. The minimum size and resolution are 1600 x 2100 pixels at 300 dpi. If you have one or more such images, please upload them at: Host:, Username: treeph, Password: e4Us4K (put files in the 'Pub' folder). Please alert the editorial office and the production department by email and let them have the legend and copyright information for the image(s). The final selection of cover images are made by the production department, so we cannot promise that we'll use yours.


Open access

Tree Physiology authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in Tree Physiology can use the following Creative Commons licences for their articles:

• Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY)
• Creative Commons Non-Commercial licence (CC-BY-NC)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The open access charges applicable are:

Regular charge - £1750/ $2800 / €2275
List B Developing country charge* - £875 / $1400 / €1135
List A Developing country charge* - £0 /$0 / €0
*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour/page charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

Advance access

Advance Access articles are published online soon after they have been accepted for publication, in advance of their appearance in a printed journal. Appearance in Advance Access constitutes official publication, and the Advance Access version can be cited by a unique DOI (Digital Object Identifier). When an article appears in an issue, it is removed from the Advance Access page.

Articles posted for Advance Access have been copyedited and typeset and any corrections included. This is before they are paginated for inclusion in a specific issue of the journal. Once an article appears in an issue, both versions of the paper continue to be accessible and citable

Copyright and licence

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form. It is a condition of publication for all Oxford Journals that authors grant an exclusive licence to Oxford University Press or the sponsoring Society.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.


Articles may be edited after acceptance, but authors will be able to approve the changes.

Charges for colour figures

Free online publication: All figures submitted to the journal in colour will be published in colour online at no cost. This reflects the high level of online usage, with print readership now forming only 2% of the total journal usage.

Print colour charge: Inclusion of colour figures in the print issue is subject to a charge (£350, $600, €525 per figure). If you consider colour to be essential in the print version, Tree Physiology offers you the option of requesting that one or more figures be printed at a reduced cost (£100/US$190/€150 per figure). There are a limited number of reduced-cost colour print figures, to be allocated at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.


Tree Physiology expects that authors will observe high standards with respect to publication ethics. For example, the following practices are unacceptable: (1) falsification or fabrication of data, (2) plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors' own work, in whole or in part without proper citation, (3) misappropriation of the work of others such as omission of qualified authors or of information regarding financial support. Allegations of unethical conduct will be discussed initially with the corresponding author. In the event of continued dispute the matter will be referred to the author's institution and funding agencies for investigation and adjudication.

Conflict of interest

The manuscript submission system requires you to declare whether your manuscript includes a potential conflict of interest. Any potential conflict of interest that might constitute an embarrassment to any of the authors if it were not to be declared and were to emerge after publication should be declared. Such conflicts might include, but are not limited to, author (or first degree relative) shareholding in or receipt of a grant or consultancy fee from a company whose product features in the submitted manuscript or which manufactures a competing product.

If no Conflict of Interest is declared, this will be stated in the article using the following wording: 'Conflict of Interest: none declared'.

Permissions for illustrations and figures

Permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS and similar licencing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by the particular institutions. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist authors in securing print and online permissions: please see Guidelines for Authors at Information on permissions contacts for a number of main galleries and museums can also be provided. Should you require copies of this then please contact the editorial office of the journal in question or the Oxford Journals Rights department on

Authors must:

  • obtain permission from the original publisher and, if requested, the original author (i.e. the corresponding author of the article from which the figure/table has come) for reproducing/modifying figures/tables.
  • request the following when seeking to reproduce any kind of third party material:

    (i) non-exclusive rights to reproduce the material in the specified article and journal.
    (ii) print and electronic rights, preferably for use in any form or medium.
    (iii) the right to use the material for the life of the work.
    (iv) world-wide English-language rights. If rights for all languages can be secured, this is preferable.
    (v) the right to use images with a resolution of 150 dpi in the PDF version of the journal or 72 dpi in the HTML version.
  • include a statement indicating that permission has been obtained in the relevant legend/footnote.
  • provide the Editorial Office with copies of any relevant paperwork.

For further details, as well as a template permissions request letter, please contact the editorial office.


Authors are sent page proofs by email. These should be checked immediately and corrections, as well as answers to any queries, returned to the publishers as an annotated PDF via email or fax within 3 working days (further details are supplied with the proof). It is the author's responsibility to check proofs thoroughly.

Supplementary data

Supporting material that is not essential for inclusion in the full text of the manuscript, but would nevertheless benefit the reader, can be made available by the publisher as online-only content, linked to the online manuscript. The material should not be essential to understanding the conclusions of the paper, but should contain data that is additional or complementary and directly relevant to the article content. Such information might include more detailed methods, extended data sets/data analysis, additional figures, or movies. It is standard practice for appendices to be made available online-only as supplementary data. All text and figures must be provided in suitable electronic formats (file types that that cannot be uploaded are shs; exe; com; vbs; zip). All material to be considered as supplementary data must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript for peer review. It cannot be altered or replaced after the paper has been accepted for publication, and will not be edited. Please indicate clearly all material intended as supplementary data upon submission. Also ensure that the supplementary data is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary, for example as '(see Supplementary data)' or '(see Supplementary Figure 1)'.


Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled 'Funding'. This should appear before the 'Acknowledgements' section. The following rules should be followed: the full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘National Institutes of Health’, not ‘NIH’; grant numbers should be given in brackets; multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma; agencies should be separated by a semi-colon; no extra wording such as 'Funding for this work was provided by ...' should be used; where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'. An example is given here: ‘National Institutes of Health (CB5453961 to C.S., DB645473 to M.H.); Funding Agency (hfygr667789).’

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

Self-archiving policy

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.'


Authors will receive electronic access to their paper free of charge. Additional printed offprints may be ordered using the Oxford Journals Author Services site.


Manuscripts must be submitted online. Once you have prepared your manuscript according to the instructions please visit the online submission web site Instructions on submitting your manuscript online can be viewed here. Manuscripts submitted to the journal may be checked for originality using anti-plagiarism software.

Please note that when submitting your revised manuscript you should include a marked-up copy of the manuscript (with all changes highlighted), and a clean copy of the manuscript, suitable for production purposes.

If you require assistance, please click here to contact the editorial office.