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About Treesearch


Screen shot of Treesearch basic search screen

Treesearch is an online system for sharing free, full text publications by Research and Development scientists in the US Forest Service. Included in Treesearch are scholarly works published by the agency as well as those published by others, including papers appearing in journals, conference proceedings, or books. All publications appearing in Treesearch are based on peer reviewed research to make sure they provide the best scientific information possible.

The Treesearch website has been delivering publications since January 2004, starting with a collection of just 7,000 and passing 40,000 by its tenth anniversary, with thousands added each year. A new version of Treesearch was launched in December 2013; see the bottom of this page for changes.

Searches in Treesearch are focused on the metadata surrounding a publication, things like author, title, and so forth. An alternative way to search the same collection is GeoTreesearch, an interactive map-based tool that combines full text searches of the publications themselves with a geographic filter based on the places mentioned in that text.


Treesearch allows simple searches by title, author's last name, research "station", publication year, publication series and volume number. The All Fields option allows an individual to perform a much broader search of the metadata, adding to the options above keywords, Experimental Forests and Ranges where a publication directly applies. See the Help page for more information on how to use the search functions.


Selecting a publication from the list of results displays the metadata for that publication with a link to the full text publication. All publications listed in Treesearch have their full text available online for viewing and printing, usually in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). In some cases, the publications have been scanned from the original, a process that can result in errors. For this reason some publications offer two PDF versions, a compact file with captured text plus a larger pristine version where text is represented as an image. Either way, your computer will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the document. See the Adobe Reader download page if you need their free plug-in.

Restriction on Use

U.S. copyright regulations require that publications by the federal government or authored by federal employees must remain in the public domain. If restrictions on use apply to any of the publications in Treesearch, those restrictions will be spelled out at the end of the full text article. If you have questions about Treesearch, please email us at

Release Notice

New features and fixes - April 1st, 2015.

  • Extended the xmlpub.xml API to include the <source> attribute, all authors in the <authors> attribute along with secondary attributes not originally included (e.g. pub_cat_name, pub_cat_id, parsing_reviewed_ind, model_tool_ind, pub_volume, pub_issue, pub_page, pub_page_start, pub_page_end, pub_type_other_desc, pub_type_disc_ind and pub_type_disc_other_desc).

New features and fixes - March 26th, 2015.

  • Fixed a bug within the stored procedure that generates the publication landing page to handle a <source> value which has a size up to .5k characters in length.

New features and fixes - December 18th, 2014.

  • Corrected the regex function used to compose the filtering within the title specific search option.
  • Added the Publication type Resource Update (RU) to the Publication Series search option.

New features and fixes - September 20th, 2014.

  • Added additional attributes to the XML rendering of the publication author entity
  • Fixed nested CDATA issue

New features and fixes - September 16th, 2014.

  • Enabled and extended the XML generator for the Search and Publication Landing page sections.

New features and fixes - March 12th, 2014.

  • Complete revamping of the Help and About sections
  • Addition of View Recently Added publications across all of Research & Development option on home page
  • Addition of R&D Publications recently added to Treesearch to the site map generator
  • Addition of RSS feeds for the View Recently Added Publications (a) Across all of Research & Development and (b) Station Specific web pages
  • Searching
    • User Interface usability improvements for the basic and advanced search request screens
    • Improvement of the search component to take into account varying white space and non alpha-numeric character scenarios within the data
  • Publication Landing Page
    • Correction to include only child publications that are released to Treesearch and contain a URL referencing the PDF rendering of the publication
    • Correction to handle the display of a author's suffix correctly
    • Incorporation of US Forest Service Research Highlights
    • Addition of XML output option
    • Updated stylesheet to support Internet Explorer 11 and other responsiveness needs
  • Upgrade of supporting JQuery libraries
  • Addition of the US Forest Service favicon
  • Addition of front end caching to assist with delivery of content
  • Google Analytics - correction of initial configuration and deployment of additional UA IDs to assist metrics at the USDA level and above
  • Revised Treesearch Contacts to utilize individual's profile for contact information

New version of Treesearch was launched - December 6, 2013.

  • Align with agency hosting, hardware and software standards
  • Improve compound search by using keywords, author, title, and optional year filters
  • Change the keywords label to "All Fields"
  • Allow non-standard characters in searches
  • Convert Microsoft special characters to ISO-8859-1 cognates on basic and advanced searches
  • Display quotes for "All Fields", "Last Name of Author", and "Title" search entries
  • Add tooltips to the search sections
  • Make "All Years" the default for a date search
  • Require at least one field be used in a series search (station, series, or volume)
  • Add a "Clear" button to the Home Page and Advanced Search
  • Exclude "child publications" from search results
  • Display in the search results how many matches meet the search criteria
  • Sort Station Series search results by most recent and make the source column sortable
  • Change the search results heading from "Primary Station" to "Source"
  • Make sorts case insensitive
  • Sort results from a Series Search by year in descending order, then volume
  • Include publishing station in the results from a Series Search
  • Display each keyword on a publication page as a hyperlink to launch a new search for that term
  • Add Dublin Core and Google Scholar meta tags to each publication page
  • Add breadcrumbs to individual web pages
  • Add GeoTreesearch link to the left-hand column
  • Update "About Treesearch" and "Help" pages

Cover of R&D's 2012-13 Research Highlights publication Today, more than 500 Forest Service researchers work in a range of biological, physical, and social science fields to promote sustainable management of the Nation's diverse forests and rangelands.

Learn more about their work ...

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.