What Is Degree of Tree in Data Structure?


Scott Campbell

In data structure, the term “degree of tree” refers to the maximum number of children that a node can have in a tree. It is an important concept to understand when working with trees and can have implications on the efficiency and design of algorithms.

Understanding Trees

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

Degree in Binary Trees

In binary trees, each node can have at most two children – a left child and a right child. Therefore, the degree of a binary tree is 2.

Degree in General Trees

Unlike binary trees, general trees can have any number of children per node. The degree of a general tree depends on its specific implementation and requirements.

Implications of Degree

The degree of a tree impacts several aspects:

  • Complexity: The degree affects the complexity of various algorithms performed on trees. For example, searching through a balanced binary search tree has logarithmic complexity due to its degree being 2.
  • Space Efficiency: The degree determines the amount of memory required to store and represent each node in memory.

    Higher degrees result in larger memory requirements.

  • Tree Balance: In certain types of trees like AVL or Red-Black trees, balancing operations are performed to maintain optimal search times. The choice of degree impacts how these balancing operations are implemented.


To illustrate the concept, consider the following examples:

Example 1: Binary Tree

A binary tree has a degree of 2, as each node can have at most two children.

    /   \
   B     C
  / \   / \
 D   E F   G

Example 2: Ternary Tree

A ternary tree has a degree of 3, as each node can have at most three children.

    /  |  \
   B   C    D
  /|\ | |\ |\
 E F G H I J K


The degree of a tree is an important concept in data structures that determines the maximum number of children a node can have. It impacts the complexity of algorithms, space efficiency, and balancing operations in trees. Understanding the degree helps in designing efficient tree-based data structures and algorithms.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy