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Addendum II: Terms and conditions for confined research field trials of poplar (Populus spp.)

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Any release of a plant with a novel trait into the environment in the absence of explicit authorization by the Plant Production Division, CFIA, is a contravention of Part V of the Seeds Regulations. Failure of the applicant to comply with conditions of an authorized release is a contravention of Part V of the Seeds Regulations.

Trial site

The guard rows or ditch area is considered to be part of the trial site.


1. Seed and plant material that is to be planted, any excess from transplantation, and that from harvesting must be transported in clearly labelled and secure containers that are to be kept separate from other seed and plant material. These requirements also apply to all non-modified plant material from the trial site.

Reproductive isolation

2. To prevent root suckers or root grafting, Populus spp. root system in the trial must be isolated by: (a) 2 guard rows composed of non-transformed poplar producing no or very few suckers (species must be approved by PBO (Plant Biosaftey Office)); or (b) a ditch with a root impermeable barrier at least 45 cm deep (barrier must be approved by PBO).

3. The trial site must be separated by a distance of at least 15 metres from other Populus species. Populus species include: Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar), Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood), Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood, plains cottonwood), Populus grandidentata (largetooth aspen), Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen) and any natural or artificial hybrids.

4. If the trial reaches sexual maturity, all precocious inflorescences must be removed each year before the anthesis to prevent pollen dissemination and seed setting. Records must be kept of the date and number of flowering catkins removed from each genetic line.

5. The trial site, and a minimum 15 metre zone around the trial site, must not be seeded with poplar trees for 3 consecutive years after the trial is destroyed and no suckers of trial trees are observed (Please see section "Information to be Provided to the PBO").

Cleaning of equipment

6. Machinery and equipment used for seeding, transplanting, site maintenance and harvesting must be cleaned of all seed and residual plant material at the trial site prior to being moved to other locations to prevent dispersal of material from the trial.

Trial boundary marking

7. The use of markers is strongly recommended. Markers should be placed at all corners of the trial site to identify the confined research field trial boundaries. The markers (for example, flags, corner posts, etc.) should be obvious, identifiable above the maximum height of the surrounding crop and in place for the growing seasons of both the trial and post-harvest restriction period.

8. Distance measurements from visible and accessible permanent surrounding landmarks must be provided for precise location of the trial site. Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates must be taken precisely at all corners of each trial site. The GPS coordinates of each confined research field trial site location must be submitted to the PBO within 7 days after planting.


9. The following plant material that is not to be retained must be disposed of by mechanical means, burning, autoclaving or burial at a depth of 1 metre: surplus seed or seedlings, plant material remaining after planting or transplantation and propagable plant material from pruned or harvested from the trial site. Composting of this material is not an acceptable destruction method. These requirements apply to all modified and non-modified plant material on the trial site.

10. The trees (including guard rows if applicable) must be cut down at the end of the trial period. Plant matter remaining at the end of the trial must be destroyed. Stumps and root systems must either be mechanically destroyed on site or removed and destroyed. The trial site must be tilled and any developing suckers after tillage must be destroyed.


11. All retained seedlings and plant material, including the excess from transplanting and harvesting, must be stored appropriately in clearly labelled and secure containers. These containers must be kept separate from other seed and plant material. These requirements also apply to non-modified seedlings and plant material harvested from trial sites. A secure container must be designed to minimize the potential for a spill or dissemination. Each container must be labelled "PNT material – Do not mix". In the event of any accidental spill or dissemination of material, the PBO must be immediately notified.


12. The trial site and isolation distance must be monitored twice a week during the period of flowering and budburst, and monthly during the growing season of the trial period. All suckers, precocious inflorescences and trees of same or related species that are not part of the trial must be removed and destroyed.

13. During the post-trial growing seasons the trial site, and the 15 metre zone is subject to monitoring (Please see section "Reproductive Isolation"). Site monitoring must occur at least once in the summer and once in the fall to ensure that all volunteers, suckers and related species are removed and destroyed.

Accidental release

14. In the case of accidental release of propagable material in the environment, recoverable seeds or seedlings must be collected and destroyed, the site must be marked and monitored, and the PBO notified immediately. Trees from unrecoverable seedlings or propagules must be immediately destroyed (this can include mechanical or chemical means).


15. A detailed trial log book must be kept. Records of the confined research field trial, including current season and post-harvest site monitoring, activities related to the trial site compliance, cleaning of machinery, transportation, disposition and storage of all surplus seedlings and harvested propagules and plant material, must be maintained by the applicant and made available to the CFIA upon request. A report summarizing the completed trial and experimental data, including any amendments to the original protocol, must also be made available to the CFIA upon request. Detailed records requirements can be found in section 3.7 of Directive 2000-07.

Information to be provided to the PBO (Plant Biosafety Office)

16. The applicant must provide the PBO in writing within 15 working days after destruction with information on the trial's growth stage at the time of destruction, as well as the date and method of destruction.

17. Applicants must notify the PBO in writing of the crop species planted on field trial sites for each year the sites are subject to post-harvest land use restrictions. This notification must be received every year by June 1.


18. The trial term will be limited to 1 year from the date of renewal.

19. It is not permitted to allow livestock on the trial site, including during post-harvest restrictions.

20. No plant material from these trials may enter the human food or livestock feed chain unless approved by Health Canada or the Animal Feed Division, CFIA, respectively.

21. If a chemical treatment is used on the trial site that requires a temporary prohibition on entry into the site, a sign must be posted at the access to the trial indicating the date and time of spraying as well as the time until safe entry. This condition is intended to protect the health and safety of the CFIA inspection staff.

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