• The Delhi High Court stayed the pruning of over 800 trees in the city and set aside an order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), observing that a more detailed assessment needs to be carried out before trees are trimmed.
  • General guidelines for the pruning and felling of trees were prescribed under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.

The 2019 guidelines:

  • The 2019 Guidelines for pruning of trees state were prescribed so that trees are grown with great care and precision over several years and not pruned recklessly, as this could lead to a reduction of the city’s green cover which is an offence under Section 8 of the DPTA, 1994.
  • The Guidelines define “pruning” as a horticultural and silvicultural practice that entails cutting off or removing dead or living parts of the branches, buds, or roots of the plant to improve its shape or growth.
  • The reasons for carrying it out can range from reducing the risk of falling branches to removing deadwood or maintaining the plant’s health and growth.
  • It is also specified that the pruning should not be so large as to damage the tree,.


  • The 2019 guidelines are aimed at providing protection and care to trees grown in the national capital so that they are not pruned recklessly.
  • The Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, of 1994
  • The Act provides statutory protection to trees to prevent them from damage in any manner that impedes their growth or ability to regenerate.
  • A tree is any woody plant whose branches spring from and are supported upon a trunk or body not less than 5cm in diameter, at a height of 30cms from the ground level, and is not less than one meter high from the ground level.

Procedure for carrying out pruning:

The Act allows any person desiring to fell or remove or otherwise dispose of a tree to make an application to the tree officer for permission.

Such permission may not be refused if the tree:

  1. is dead, diseased, or wind fallen; or
  2. is mature for silviculture and not on a steep slope; or
  3. is a danger to life or property, or
  4. an obstruction to traffic; or
  5. is substantially damaged or destroyed by fire, lightning, rain or natural causes; or
  6. its cutting is required in rural areas for wood or leave or any part for use for fuel, fodder, or other domestic use.
  7. Every permission granted under this Act include taking of security for ensuring the regeneration of the area and replanting of trees.



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