What Are the Properties of Binary Tree in Data Structure?


Larry Thompson

What Are the Properties of Binary Tree in Data Structure?

A binary tree is a commonly used data structure in computer science and is composed of nodes, where each node can have at most two children. These children are referred to as the left child and the right child.

Binary trees have their own unique properties that make them useful for various applications. In this article, we will explore these properties and understand how they contribute to the functionality of binary trees.

1. Root Node

The root node is the topmost node in a binary tree.

It serves as the starting point for traversing the tree structure. Every binary tree has exactly one root node.

2. Parent and Child Nodes

In a binary tree, each node can act as a parent to its left and right child nodes.

Conversely, these child nodes have a relationship with their parent node. This parent-child relationship forms the hierarchical structure of a binary tree.

3. Leaf Nodes

A leaf node, also known as an external node or terminal node, is a node that does not have any children. In other words, it is located at the end of each branch in the binary tree structure.

4. Internal Nodes

An internal node is any non-leaf node within a binary tree that has at least one child. These nodes serve as branching points within the tree and connect different levels of the hierarchy.

5. Depth

The depth of a node in a binary tree refers to its distance from the root node. The depth of the root node is always 0, while each subsequent level increases this depth by 1.

6. Height

The height of a binary tree is the maximum depth of any node present in the tree.

It represents the length of the longest path from the root node to any leaf node. The height of an empty tree is considered to be -1.

7. Balanced Binary Tree

A balanced binary tree is a specific type of binary tree where the difference in height between its left and right subtrees is at most 1. This property ensures that the tree remains relatively balanced, which can result in efficient operations such as searching and insertion.

8. Complete Binary Tree

A complete binary tree is a type of binary tree where all levels, except possibly the last level, are completely filled with nodes. In the last level, all nodes are placed as left as possible.

9. Full Binary Tree

A full binary tree is a binary tree in which every node other than the leaf nodes has two children. In other words, every internal node has exactly two child nodes.


In conclusion, understanding the properties of a binary tree allows us to manipulate and analyze its structure effectively. The root node serves as the starting point, while parent-child relationships establish hierarchy.

Leaf nodes mark endpoints, internal nodes create branching points, and depth and height provide insights into node positions. Balanced, complete, and full binary trees represent specific configurations that have implications on their respective applications.

By incorporating these properties into our understanding of binary trees, we can leverage this data structure for various algorithms and problem-solving techniques in computer science.

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