What Are the Properties of Trees in Data Structure?


Scott Campbell

What Are the Properties of Trees in Data Structure?

A tree is a fundamental data structure that is widely used in computer science and programming. It is a hierarchical structure that represents a set of connected nodes, where each node can have zero or more child nodes.

Properties of Trees:

1. Root:

The root is the topmost node of a tree. It does not have any parent nodes but may have one or more child nodes.

2. Node:

A node is an individual element in a tree that contains data and links to its child nodes (if any). Each node can hold information, such as a value or key, and may also store additional data fields.

3. Parent and Child Nodes:

In a tree, each node (except the root) has exactly one parent node and zero or more child nodes. The parent node is the immediate predecessor of a particular node, while the child nodes are the immediate successors.

4. Leaf Nodes:

A leaf node, also known as an external node, is a node that does not have any children. These nodes are located at the bottommost level of the tree and do not contain any further elements.

5. Internal Nodes:

An internal node, also called an inner or non-leaf node, is a node that has one or more child nodes. These nodes are present between the root and leaf nodes and contribute to the overall structure of the tree.

6. Depth:

The depth of a tree refers to the length of the path from the root to a specific node. It represents the number of edges or levels between the root and the node.

7. Height:

The height of a tree is the maximum depth among all nodes in the tree. It represents the length of the longest path from the root to any leaf node.

Types of Trees:

1. Binary Tree:

A binary tree is a type of tree where each node can have at most two child nodes, commonly referred to as the left child and right child. These child nodes are ordered, meaning that there is a specific arrangement between them. Binary Search Tree (BST):

A binary search tree is a binary tree that follows a specific ordering property. For any given node, all elements in its left subtree are less than the node’s value, and all elements in its right subtree are greater than or equal to the node’s value.

  • A BST allows efficient searching, insertion, and deletion operations with an average time complexity of O(log n), where n is the number of nodes in the tree.

3. Balanced Tree:

A balanced tree is a type of tree where the heights of its subtrees differ by at most one level. This ensures that operations on the tree remain efficient and prevent degeneration into an unbalanced structure with poor performance characteristics.


Trees are versatile data structures with various properties that enable efficient organization and manipulation of data. Understanding these properties helps in selecting appropriate algorithms and data structures for different problem-solving scenarios.

By incorporating trees into your programming knowledge, you can broaden your understanding of data structures and enhance your ability to develop efficient algorithms.

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