"No, that is not a tree."
Translation:Ne, to není strom.
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When you state that something is or is not you always use TO. Regardless of gender you are describing. In fact, you do not even know a gender of what it is you are describing here. We know it is not a tree, but is it a car (neutral) or flower (feminine)? You would say the same in English. Even when talking about animate objects. No, IT is not Peter.
You would use TEN when you get to describing the object. Ne, ten není starý. = No, he/it is not old.
You cannot drop "to". You can only drop "on" or "ona" (and the lesser used "ono"), that means some actual He, She, or It. But not just any "it" that can be changed to "this" or "that" like here, but some "it" that represents some actual object that we are speaking about, some actual "ono", most likely a person or at least an animal.
Is she a tree? No, she is not a tree.
Je ona strom? Ne, není strom.
Basically, if you forget the "ono" and would just only consider the "on" and "ona" - "he" or "she", you would not miss much. You only can drop these.
If the "it" is actually something like "this" or "that", you need the "to" in "to je"/"je to".