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RULE §10.29Application and Amplification of General Certification Standards

(a) The general requirements, as adopted by the State Seed and Plant Board are basic, and together with the following specific standards constitute the standards for certification of forest reproductive material. Forest reproduction material will include seed, seedlings, and propagules of all species normally used in forestry including specialized products or uses such as Christmas trees, windbreaks, etc.

(b) In addition to the definitions found at §10.1 of this title (relating to Definitions), the following words and terms when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Certified forest tree seed and seedlings (blue label)--Certified forest tree seed and seedlings from trees of proven genetic superiority, as defined by the following standards produced so as to assure genetic identity. (Seeds and seedlings from interspecific hybrids of forest trees may be included.) Certified seedlings (blue label) must be the first generation from certified seed (blue label). In addition, the following subclass may be acceptable for certification.

  (2) Certified selected forest tree seed and seedlings (green label)--Seed and seedlings from untested parentage of rigidly selected trees, including elite trees, or stands that have promise, but not proof, of genetic superiority. Cultivars, as well as clones, may be certified. Certified selected seedlings (green label) must be the first generation from certified selected seed (green label).

(c) For both classes of forest tree seed and seedlings, the exact geographic source of the parent trees and the stand history must be known. Location of the source shall be given at least down to the section or comparable land survey unit. (Alternatively, in the case of seed and seedlings from seed orchards containing selected stocks from a number of separate sections, the location of the orchard shall be given and the exact sources and elevations of its individual components shall be kept on file and furnished on request.) In addition, the average height and age of the trees from which the seed was collected or from which the seedlings were grown must be known.

(d) Inspectors for forest tree seed and seedling certification shall be approved by the State Seed and Plant Board and shall be professional foresters and/or others trained specifically for the job.

(e) Seed production.

  (1) Handling the crop prior to inspection.

    (A) Fees. The inspection fee as shown in Table I of §10.13 of this title (relating to Inspection Fees for Certification) is required to be paid. The acreage fee may be figured at the rate of one acre per tree or the gross acreage occupied by all trees inspected. The lower figure will be used to determine the total acreage fee.

    (B) Applications. All applications for inspection of forest tree seed must be filed with the Seed Quality Program at least 30 days prior to flowering.

  (2) Field inspections.

    (A) At least two official inspections must be made. One inspection must be made prior to pollination. At this time, compliance in regard to roguing and isolation will be checked. One inspection must be made prior to seed maturity at which time the size of the crop will be estimated.

    (B) Inspections are required only in years in which certified seed production is planned after the initial inspection, provided that subsequent inspections shall be not more than five years apart.

    (C) Inspections may be made at any time during cone collection, seed extraction, and cleaning without prior notice.

  (3) Field standards.

    (A) General requirements.

      (i) Definition of terms.

        (I) The term "cone" shall include the seed contained therein.

        (II) The term "scion" shall include all materials for vegetative propagation.

        (III) The term "elite tree" shall refer to an individual tree whose genetic superiority has been proven for the traits to be certified.

      (ii) Unit of certification. An area or a portion of an area may be certified. The portions of an area not meeting certification requirements shall be delineated with a painted boundary mark (color contrasting with other boundaries), and cones produced on the disqualified area are not eligible for certification. A clear and distinct boundary line will be marked with paint between an area and its isolation strip. The outer boundary of the isolation strips shall be marked with a contrasting color or symbol.

      (iii) Isolation. The isolation as stated in the specific requirements will be applicable for pine species. Isolation for other species will be included as they become available.

    (B) Specific requirements.

      (i) Certified blue label seed production-- Seed Orchards.

        (I) Stand composition. The stand will be composed of a minimum of 15 producing clones of trees. Each tree shall bear identity numbers and/or letters traceable to records of the ortet (or parentage in the case of seedling stock) and records shall be available for inspection. The arrangement shall be such as to maximize cross pollination between clones and to minimize selfing.

        (II) Progeny tests.

          (-a-) All clones in a seed orchard must be progeny tested before being eligible for production of certified (blue label) seed. Records of the progeny tests shall be available to the certifying agency. The field plots of the progeny tests must be maintained until such time as the requirements of the certifying agency are satisfied which will be at least one-half rotation age for volume and less for other characters.

          (-b-) Seed that are produced prior to completion of progeny tests may be sold as selected (green label) seed provided all other requirements are met.

        (III) Isolation. A minimum of 400 feet surrounding the orchard shall be free of all trees producing contaminating pollen. Controlled pollinated seed does not require the isolation zone.

      (ii) Certified selected green label seed production--Seed Production Areas.

        (I) Stand requirements. The stand must initially contain a sufficient number of trees of the desired species to permit rigorous selection of trees to be retained for seed production. The stand must be of sufficient age and diameter for reliable crop tree determination. Stands shall not have been previously thinned except where it can be shown that thinning was from below or from the codominants of poor quality for the species to be used in seed production.

        (II) Stand treatments.

          (-a-) Roguing. All trees infected with diseases of economic importance to timber production shall be removed from the area. Trees of below average vigor (based on the dominant and codominant trees in the original stand) and trees having undesirable form characteristics as specified for the species and end use will be removed.

          (-b-) Stand composition. Only trees of average or above vigor and form and average or below in branch size and free from pests shall remain. Minimum requirements are 10 trees per acre to minimize selfing and to maximize cross pollination.

          (-c-) Isolation. The area shall be free of contaminating pollen. An isolation strip shall be maintained. A strip 400 feet wide adjacent to the production area shall be free of all species of trees which will normally cross pollinate naturally with the species of the production area, except that this strip may contain trees of the same species providing that it meets the standards of roguing and stand composition of the production area.

        (III) Elite trees including subspecies.

          (-a-) Individual characteristics. A tree must possess certain characteristics such as superior growth, wood quality, gum yield, etc., which can be described and must be capable of differentiation from other trees of the same species on the site.

          (-b-) Isolation. Nonprogeny tested open pollinated produced seed may be certified as selected tree seed if a 400-foot isolation strip is rogued to seed production area standards.

          (-c-) Identification. Each tree shall bear identifying numbers and/or letters traceable to records containing complete description of the tree and location of tree.

  (4) Seed handling.

    (A) Seed and/or cones shall be handled so as to prevent contamination and to maintain the identity of the lot. Each lot shall be identified at all times throughout handling. Lots of cones shall be isolated in drying by seedproof barriers to prevent mixing of seed as the cones open. All drying racks, bins, areas, etc. shall be thoroughly cleaned prior to use.

    (B) No lot of tree seed may contain more than 1,000 pounds.

  (5) Samples and testing of seed.

    (A) For seed of species not covered by the rules for testing seed, as adopted by the Association of Official Seed Analysts, the analysis and tests shall be in accordance with the rules of ISTA or appropriate state or governmental laboratories as determined by the department.

    (B) Tests will be acceptable only from laboratories approved by the State Seed and Plant Board in agreement with the department. Laboratory tests must be completed within nine months, exclusive of the month in which the test was completed, prior to shipment of seed, and the seed must have been stored in airtight moisture proof containers at a moisture content less than 10% and temperature below 30 degrees Fahrenheit from the time of sampling until shipment.

  (6) Seed standards.

    (A) Pine species.

Attached Graphic     (B) Other species. Standards for other species and/or groups of species will be included as they become available.

  (7) Label requirements.

    (A) The certification label shall include the information as follows:

      (i) elevation to the nearest 500 feet of the original geographic source and the average height and age of the trees from which collected. If available, site index (the capacity of a given site to produce trees as measured by the height of the trees at a specific age) may be recorded instead of the tree height and age;

      (ii) producer's name and address or code designation;

      (iii) species (and subspecies, if appropriate);

      (iv) lot number;

      (v) net weight.

    (B) An analysis tag or label is required on each certified seed container giving the information as follows:

      (i) common name of the species (and subspecies, if appropriate);

      (ii) scientific name of the genus and species (and subspecies, if appropriate);

      (iii) net weight;

      (iv) lot number (corresponding to lot number on certification label);

      (v) year collected;

      (vi) geographic origin (location of collection-state and county or other acceptable geographic zone within the state);

      (vii) calendar month and year the test was completed and by whom;

      (viii) percentage by weight of pure seed;

      (ix) percentage by count of full seed;

      (x) percentage by weight of inert matter;

      (xi) percentage of germination exclusive of hard seed;

      (xii) percentage of hard seed, if present;

      (xiii) speed of germination, as days to reach 90% of total;

      (xiv) pregermination treatment used in test;

      (xv) number of seed per pound;

      (xvi) name and address of certified seed grower.

Source Note: The provisions of this §10.29 adopted to be effective September 2, 1996, 21 TexReg 7955.

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