CBSE Class 9 English Beehive On Killing a Tree Poem Summary and Notes

The CBSE Class 9 English Beehive book Chapter 8 contains a poem named “On Killing a Tree”. The poem is written by Gieve Patel. Here, we have provided the summary and detailed explanation of the CBSE Class 9 English Beehive On Killing a Tree Poem. The explanation is provided in the form of CBSE Class 9 English Notes which will help students in understanding the meaning and central idea of the poem. They can also prepare for their English paper by referring to these notes. These have been created by subject experts and are written in simple language for students’ easy understanding.

Students can also learn how to write an effective essay during the exam by going through the essays at BYJU’S to increase marks in Class 9 English paper.

CBSE Class 9 English Beehive On Killing a Tree Poem Summary

The poem depicts a clear picture of man’s cruelty towards trees. The poet states that trees are living things, and we should not cut them. Destroying a tree is like killing a human being. A tree does not die by just chopping and cutting. It grows again from where it has been cut. It only dies when it is uprooted from the ground. In the entire poem, the poet has mentioned the ideas on how to kill a tree to make humans feel that they are doing a heinous crime. The poem showed the destructive nature of humans and the indestructibility of nature.

CBSE Class 9 English Beehive On Killing a Tree Poem Explanation Notes

Students can have a look at the “On Killing a Tree” poem and its explanation below.

On Killing a Tree Poem and Explanation

It takes much time to kill a tree,

Not a simple jab of the knife

Will do it. It has grown

Slowly consuming the earth,

Rising out of it, feeding

Upon its crust, absorbing

Years of sunlight, air, water,

And out of its leprous hide

Sprouting leaves.

So hack and chop

But this alone wont do it.

Not so much pain will do it.

The bleeding bark will heal

And from close to the ground

Will rise curled green twigs,

Miniature boughs

Which if unchecked will expand again

To former size.

No, The root is to be pulled out —

Out of the anchoring earth;

It is to be roped, tied,

And pulled out — snapped out

Or pulled out entirely,

Out from the earth-cave,

And the strength of the tree exposed

The source, white and wet,

The most sensitive, hidden

For years inside the earth.

Then the matter

Of scorching and choking

In sun and air,

Browning, hardening,

Twisting, withering,

And then it is done.


The poet says that it takes much time to kill a tree. It cannot be done by a simple cut of a knife. The tree has grown gradually, and its roots have gone deep inside the soil. The tree got its nutrients from the earth and grew in the upward direction by absorbing years of sunlight, air and water. The leaves and branches of the tree sprouted from its bark and looked like a leprous disease.

The poet says that cutting and chopping of a tree by an axe is not enough to kill the tree. This will give pain to the tree, but it won’t be sufficient to destroy it. The sap flows out from the tree when it is cut or chopped. It is similar to human bleeding when they get wounded. The bark will heal itself with time. New branches will grow again and expand to their former size. Nature has the ability to recover itself.

In this stanza, the poet suggests how a tree can be killed. The tree was strongly held to the earth by its roots. So, to kill a tree, it’s root has to be uprooted from the ground. To do so, the tree has to be tied with a rope and to be pulled out completely from the earth cave. Here, the “Earth Cave” means the space which is created in the earth by uprooting the tree. The power of the tree lies in its roots, and it’s the main component of the tree. When the life source of the tree, i.e. roots are exposed, the tree will die. The poet has described the roots as white and wet because the white liquid flows out from the tree when the roots are pulled out. These roots are the most sensitive and hidden part of the tree which were inside the earth for many years.

In this stanza, the poet has explained the condition of the tree after its roots have been uprooted. He says that the tree will gradually dry up due to the hot heat of the sun and wind. It will not be able to breathe and transport of nutrients will stop as its roots will be pulled out. The trunk of the tree will become brown and will harden. With time, the tree will dry and bend out of shape. Finally, the tree will die.

We hope students must have found the summary and explanation of the CBSE Class 9 English Beehive On Killing a Tree Poem helpful for their exam preparation. They can also go through the essay on republic day and essay on the constitution of India to prepare their writing section for the English exam.

Frequently asked Questions on CBSE Class English: On Killing A Tree

What is the importance of trees?

As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.

Which are the useful parts of a tree?

Trees have three main parts – the leaves, the trunk and the roots. The upper part of the tree with the branches is called the crown.

What are the functions of a root?

Primary functions of a root are anchorage of the plant, absorption of water and dissolved minerals and conduction of these to the stem and storage of reserve foods.

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