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For 2024 Board Exam
CBSE Competency Based Questions:
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CBE Questions On Killing a Tree | Class IX | CBSE

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

Theme:

  • The poet believes that it is unfair to destroy a tree.

  • The way a tree is cut by humans for personal & commercial reasons causes damage to nature.

  • A tree reaches its full size after several years of absorbing sunlight, air, water and nutrition from the earth. It does not die easily.

  • A simple jab of the knife will not kill a tree because only the bark is wounded which heals after some time.

  • In order to kill a tree, its root has to be pulled out entirely from the earth. The exposed root then chokes and dries in the sun, leading to the death of the tree.

  • The poet comes across as an ardent nature lover in the poem. He calls the felling of a tree 'killing. His graphic description of the process of killing a tree underscores the heinous nature of the act.

  • Words like 'consuming, bleeding. 'choking, and 'pain' drive home the notion of the tree as a vital living being. The tree is man's friend and killing trees is bad for the environment.


Poem At a Glance


  • In this poem, by detailing the process involved in killing a tree, the poet makes the point that trees must not be felled.

  • The poet says that it takes a long time to kill a tree: a simple jab of the knife will not do it. A tree grows slowly from the earth, feeding upon its crust, absorbing years of sunlight, air and water and growing strong in the process.

  • So merely hacking and chopping its branches will not kill a tree. The bleeding bark will heal over time and new green twigs and miniature boughs will come out again which in time will grow to their former size.

  • To kill a tree, one has to strike at its roots, because it is the root that anchors a tree to the earth. The root has to be roped, tied and pulled out from the earth. Once this is done, the strength of the tree will lie exposed.

  • A tree's strength lies in its root, which is also its most sensitive part - it is wet and white from inside having been hidden for years inside the earth.

  • Once the root is exposed, it begins to choke and harden in the sun and the air. It slowly twists and withers away, and with this the process of killing the tree is complete.

NCERT Solution

Thinking about the Poem


1.Can a "simple jab of the knife" kill a tree? Why not?


Ans. A simple jab of the knife cannot kill a tree. A tree grows over many years, taking nourishment from the earth, sunlight, air and water, and becoming stronger in the process. Its roots are deep within the earth. If a part of a tree is cut, it grows back. So it is very difficult for a simple jab of the knife to kill a tree.


2. How has the tree grown to its full size? List the words suggestive of its life and activity.


Ans. The tree has grown to its full size over years absorbing sunlight, air and water.

The words suggestive of its life and activity are:

grown

consuming

rising

feeding

absorbing

sprouting

pain

bleeding

heal

expand

sensitive

3. What is the meaning of "bleeding bark"? What makes it bleed?


Ans: 'Bleeding bark' refers to the sap that flows down the bark of a tree which

has been cut with the axe.


4. The poet says "No" in the beginning of the third stanza. What does he mean by this?


Ans. The poet means to say that one cannot kill a tree by merely chopping or hacking it. Just cutting a branch will not kill the tree because it will grow again.


5. What is the meaning of "anchoring earth" and "earth cave"?


Ans: 'Anchoring earth' refers to the earth which holds the roots of a tree firmly.

'Earth cave' refers to the earth's interior.


The poet says so because the roots, which are the most sensitive part of the tree, stay hidden securely in a cave-like pit in the earth.


6. What does he mean by "the strength of the tree exposed"?


Ans. The strength of the tree is exposed when its roots are exposed to the sun and air. The strength of a tree lies in its roots which remain under the earth. When one pulls out the roots, they scorch and choke in the sun. This weakens the tree and accelerates the process of its death.


7. What finally kills the tree?


Ans. When the root of the tree is pulled out and exposed, the tree dies. The white, wet and sensitive root dries up in the sunlight and air. There is browning, hardening and twisting of the root, leading to the death of the tree.


Extra Questions from 'On Killing a Tree'


Answer the following questions in 30-40 words each.

1. How long does it take for a tree to be fully grown?


Ans. It takes several years for a tree to be fully grown. It needs to feed on the earth's crust and absorb sunlight, air and water for years to grow fully..


2. Is the poet in favour of killing trees?


Ans. No, the poet is not in favour of killing trees. This is evident from the way he describes the cutting of a tree. He calls it 'killing as if the tree were a human being. He personifies the tree so as to evoke sympathy in the minds of the readers about the insensitive process of cutting the trees for personal & commercial reasons.


Answer the following questions in 100-150 words each.

1. What does the tree need to reach its full size?


Ans. The tree needs to feed on the earth's crust for nutrition. It requires several years of sunlight, air and water to grow and reach its full size. The tree is a gigantic life with complex body functions that work together to make it grow. It takes time for the tree to grow slowly, feeding on the earth and absorbing sunlight, air and water for years. The poem stresses the tree's tenacity. It may grow slowly but it surely grows. Hacking and chopping may make it bleed, but tiny shoots soon appear which grow into large branches if left unchecked.


2. What do you think are the views of the poet of 'On Killing a Tree"?

Or

How does the poet personify the tree in the poem? Explain with examples from the poem.


Ans. The poet believes that it is wrong to kill a tree. A tree reaches its full size after several years of absorbing sunlight, air, water and nutrition from the earth. It does not die easily. In order to kill it, one has to make a lot of effort. A simple jab of the knife will not do because only the bark is wounded which heals after some time. In order to kill a tree, its root has to be pulled out entirely from the earth. The exposed root then chokes and dries in the sun, leading to the death of the tree. The poet comes across as an ardent nature lover in the poem. He calls the felling of a tree 'killing. His graphic description of the process of killing a tree underscores the heinous nature of the act. Words like 'consuming, 'bleeding, 'choking, and 'pain' drive home the notion of the tree as a vital living being. The tree is man's friend and killing trees is bad for the environment.


Recommended Reading: A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal.










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