What Is Degree of Tree in Data Structure With Example?


Heather Bennett

In data structure, a tree is a hierarchical structure that consists of nodes connected by edges. Each node can have zero or more child nodes, except for the root node which has no parent. The degree of a tree refers to the maximum number of children that any node in the tree can have.

Understanding Degree of Tree:

The degree of a tree is an important concept as it determines the maximum number of branches or sub-trees that can stem from each node. It helps in understanding the structure and complexity of the tree.

Let’s consider an example to better understand the degree of a tree:

Example: Family Tree

Imagine you are creating a family tree to represent your ancestors. Each person in the family tree represents a node, and their relationships represent edges connecting them.

  • Root Node: The root node represents you, as you are at the topmost level in your family tree. The root node has no parent but can have multiple children (representing your siblings).
  • Degree = 0: Your parents will have no children apart from you and your siblings (degree = 0) since they are at the next level in the hierarchy.
  • Degree = 1: As you move further down the family tree, each generation will typically have only one child (degree = 1) since each person has only one set of parents.
  • Degree > 1: However, if someone in your family had multiple marriages or multiple sets of children, their nodes would have a degree greater than one. For example, if one of your grandparents remarried and had additional children with their new partner, their node would have a degree greater than one.

By analyzing the degrees of nodes in a family tree, you can determine the complexity of the relationships and visualize the structure of your family.


The degree of a tree is an essential concept in understanding the branching structure and complexity of a tree. It represents the maximum number of children any node can have. By visualizing and analyzing the degree, you can gain valuable insights into the relationships and hierarchy within a tree.

Remember, when working with trees, it’s crucial to consider their degrees to ensure efficient traversal and manipulation of data.

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