Theory:

     The train drew near. One tall, competent man marched ahead, crying out to the people by the way, “Get down on your knees! Get down on your knees!” And every one kneeled down while the procession was passing.
 
     Suddenly the leader of the van caught sight of the aged man up in the tree. He was about to call out to him in an angry tone, but, seeing he was such an old fellow, he pretended not to notice him and passed him by. So, when the daimio’s palanquin drew near, the old man, taking a pinch of ashes from his basket, scattered it over the tree. In a moment it burst into blossom.
Explanation:
 
The procession went near the cherry tree the good old man was laying. A tall man marched ahead, instructing people to get down on their knees. As expected, everyone knelt except the good old man. He climbed up the withered tree before some time on having prepared to threw ashes on the tree, thereby to greet his landlord.

Unfortunately, an escort became angry when he saw the good old man laying on the tree. Still, he didn't show his anger and pretended not to see him, considering his age. When the palanquin reached the tree, the good old man sprinkled a pinch of ashes on the tree. As expected, the magic happened. The withered tree gave out blossoms in an instant.
 
Flowering cherry tree.jpg
Flowering cherry tree in winter
Meaning of difficult words:
 
S.No
Words
Meaning
1.
Palanquin A closed couch used by wealthy people to travel, carried by four strong persons
2.
PretendActing in a certain manner to make others believe that something is true when it is not
3.
ScatterTo throw or drop things so that they over an area
Reference:
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Honeycomb. The Ashes That Made Trees Bloom (pp. 55-63). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.