The Heart of the Tree

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  • Q1

    What does he plant who plants a tree?

    He plants, in sap and leaf and wood,

    In love of home and loyalty

    And far-cast thought of civic good—

    His blessings on the neighborhood,

    Who in the hollow of His hand

    Holds all the growth of all our land—

    A nation's growth from sea to sea

    Stirs in his heart who plants a tree.

    Q1. List some of the benefits of planting a tree as discussed by the poet in the poem?

    Q2. What does the phrase “from sea to sea” mean?

    Q3. How is planting a tree blessing for the neighborhood?

    Q4. The poet believes that a nation’s growth depends upon the wealth of trees? Do you agree? Why/why not?

    Q5. Do you think that the poem has a relevance in our time?


    1. The poem has a profound message for us. The poet talks about the benefits of planting trees. Their ability to create a congenial environment and provide shade to human beings and haven to birds. Planting trees, according to poet, has socio-economic and ecological benefits.
    2. The phrase 'from sea to sea' here means all the world.
    3. When a person plants a tree he is bestowing the benefits to the whole neighborhood. The poet believes that tree stands for good values like love and loyalty. It ensures peace and prosperity of the neighborhood and the whole nation in turn.
    4. The poet believes that a country’s growth and development depends on the wealth of trees. Yes, I do agree with the poet. The more fertile the land, the higher the production of food and other resources. Ultimately this leads to the growth of the country. This growth in the economy is a boon for all.
    5. The poem has a universal appeal. It is, in fact relevant to our generation. Our living depends on trees, directly or indirectly. We do not realize that we are threatening our own existence when we go cutting down trees. We need to stop and think about its adverse effects on us and Earth. This poem serves as a pep talk for the young generation that needs to take care of the environment and leave it better than they got from their predecessor.

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  • Q2

    What does he plant who plants a tree?

    He plants cool shade and tender rain,

    And seed and bud of days to be,

    And years that fade and flush again;

    He plants the glory of the plain;

    He plants the forest's heritage;

    The harvest of a coming age;

    The joy that unborn eyes shall see—

    These things he plants who plants a tree.

    Q1. Why does the poet repeat the question “What does he plant who plants a tree?”

    Q2. Which literary device has been used in the line: “And years that fade and flush again”.

    Q3. What are the two things that a tree planter actually plants?

    Q4. How does the poet describe a tree in the above stanza?

    Q5. In what sense is a tree 'the harvest of a coming age'?


    1. The poet raises the question and provides the answer himself. He repeats the question to lay emphasis on his message, that is, importance of planting trees.
    2. The literary device used here is alliteration.
    3. By planting a tree we ensure cool shade for us in summer and tender rain in all seasons.
    4. A tree has been described as a symbol of a forests heritage. It can serve as a legacy for the next generation.
    5. Trees ensure rich forest heritage and provide many benefits for the coming generations. It makes sure that the future environment is congenial and calm and peaceful.

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  • Q3

    What does he plant who plants a tree?

    He plants a friend of sun and sky;

    He plants the flag of breezes free;

    The shaft of beauty, towering high;

    He plants a home to heaven anigh;

    For song and mother-croon of bird

    In hushed and happy twilight heard—

    The treble of heaven's harmony—

    These things he plants who plants a tree.

    Q1. Who is the “friend of sun and sky”?

    Q2. What has the poet discussed in the above stanza?

    Q3. How does a tree give shelter and to whom?

    Q4. Which literary device has been used in the line: “a friend of sun and sky”?

    Q5. Explain the line “The treble of heaven's harmony”.


    1. A tree has been described as the friend of the sun and sky.
    2. The poet has underlined the value of planting a tree. He talks about how trees purify the environment and provide safe haven to birds.
    3. The tree provides haven to birds as they built their nests on it.
    4. The literary device used here is metaphor.
    5. As a tree shelters birds, one can hear their sweet songs in twilight. The treble of the song of the bird is symbolic of heaven's harmony.

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