What Are the Types of Trees in Data Structure?


Scott Campbell

When it comes to data structures, trees are a fundamental concept. Trees are hierarchical data structures that consist of nodes connected by edges.

Each node contains a value and can have zero or more child nodes. In this article, we will explore the different types of trees in data structure.

Binary Tree

A binary tree is the simplest type of tree where each node has at most two child nodes, referred to as the left and right child. The left child is smaller than the parent node, while the right child is greater. Binary trees are commonly used in search algorithms like binary search and are efficient for storing sorted data.

Binary Search Tree

A binary search tree (BST) is a special type of binary tree where each node’s left subtree contains values less than its parent, and its right subtree contains values greater than its parent. This property allows for efficient searching, insertion, and deletion operations in logarithmic time complexity.

Balanced Tree

A balanced tree is a type of tree that ensures all leaf nodes are at the same level or differ by at most one level. Balancing techniques like AVL (Adelson-Velsky and Landis) trees or Red-Black trees ensure that the height of the tree remains balanced even after multiple insertions or deletions. Balanced trees provide efficient search, insertion, and deletion operations with a worst-case time complexity of O(log n).


A B-tree is a self-balancing search tree that can have multiple keys and children per node. It is commonly used in file systems and databases for efficient disk access. B-trees maintain their balance by allowing a variable number of keys in each node while still guaranteeing logarithmic time complexity for search operations.


A heap is a complete binary tree that satisfies the heap property. In a min-heap, each parent node’s value is smaller than or equal to its children, while in a max-heap, each parent node’s value is greater than or equal to its children. Heaps are used in priority queues and sorting algorithms like heap sort.


A trie, also known as a prefix tree, is an ordered tree-like structure that stores keys associated with their values. It is commonly used for efficient search operations on strings. Each node in the trie represents a character, and the edges represent possible characters that can follow.


In conclusion, trees are versatile data structures with various types serving different purposes. Binary trees are simple and efficient for searching sorted data, while binary search trees provide fast search, insertion, and deletion operations. Balanced trees ensure optimal performance by maintaining balance during modifications.

B-trees are suitable for disk-based storage systems. Heaps are useful for maintaining priority queues and sorting elements. Tries excel in string-related operations.

Understanding these different types of trees will help you choose the appropriate data structure based on your specific requirements.

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