What Is Binary Tree and Binary Search Tree in Data Structure?


Larry Thompson

Binary Tree and Binary Search Tree in Data Structure

In the world of data structures, trees play a vital role in organizing and efficiently accessing data. One commonly used type of tree is the Binary Tree. A Binary Tree is a hierarchical data structure where each node can have at most two children.

What is a Binary Tree?

A Binary Tree consists of nodes connected by edges. Each node has a value and two pointers, one pointing to its left child and another pointing to its right child.

The topmost node in a Binary Tree is called the root node. The children of a node are referred to as its left child and right child.

The structure of a Binary Tree allows for efficient traversal and searching operations. With just two children per node, the tree can be easily represented using pointers or references. This makes it an ideal choice for various applications like file systems, expression evaluation, and more.

Binary Search Tree (BST)

A special type of Binary Tree is the Binary Search Tree (BST). In a BST, the nodes are arranged in a specific order that allows for efficient searching and retrieval operations.

Each node in a BST satisfies the following property:

  • All nodes in the left subtree have values less than the current node’s value.
  • All nodes in the right subtree have values greater than or equal to the current node’s value.

This property ensures that searching for an element in a BST can be done quickly by comparing values and traversing either to the left or right subtree based on those comparisons. This property also allows for efficient insertion and deletion operations.

Searching in a Binary Search Tree

To search for an element in a BST, we start from the root node and compare the value with the Target element. If they match, we have found the element.

If the Target element is less than the current node’s value, we move to its left subtree. If it is greater, we move to its right subtree.

This process continues until we find the Target element or reach a null node. If we reach a null node without finding the element, it means the element is not present in the tree.

Insertion and Deletion in a Binary Search Tree

Inserting an element into a BST follows a similar process as searching. We compare the value of the new element with each node and traverse left or right until we find an appropriate place to insert it as a leaf node.

Deletion in a BST involves finding and removing a specific node while maintaining the integrity of the tree. There are various cases to consider when deleting a node from a BST, such as deleting a leaf node, deleting a node with one child, or deleting a node with two children.

In each case, care must be taken to ensure that after deletion, the remaining nodes still satisfy the Binary Search Tree property.


Binary Trees and Binary Search Trees are fundamental data structures used for efficient organization and retrieval of data. The hierarchical nature of trees allows for quick searching operations by dividing and conquering using comparisons. Understanding these structures is crucial for building efficient algorithms and solving complex problems efficiently.

By incorporating Binary Trees and Binary Search Trees into your programming arsenal, you gain powerful tools for managing data in an organized manner.

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