What Is Tree and Types of Tree in Data Structure?


Heather Bennett

A tree is a widely used data structure in computer science that represents hierarchical relationships between elements. It consists of nodes connected by edges, where each node can have zero or more child nodes. The topmost node in a tree is called the root, and the nodes at the bottom with no children are called leaves.

Types of Trees

There are various types of trees in data structures. Let’s explore some of them:

1. Binary Tree

A binary tree is a type of tree where each node has at most two children: a left child and a right child. The left child is smaller than its parent, while the right child is greater. This property makes binary trees particularly useful for efficient searching and sorting algorithms.

2. AVL Tree

An AVL (Adelson-Velskii and Landis) tree is a self-balancing binary search tree. It maintains balance by ensuring that the height difference between its left and right subtrees is at most one. This balancing property ensures efficient insertion, deletion, and searching operations with a time complexity of O(log n).

3. B-Tree

A B-tree is a self-balancing search tree designed to efficiently store large amounts of data on disk or secondary storage devices. It allows for efficient insertion, deletion, and searching operations by maintaining a balance between height and number of keys per node.

4. Red-Black Tree

A red-black tree is another type of self-balancing binary search tree that guarantees logarithmic time complexity for insertion, deletion, and searching operations. It ensures balance by coloring each node either red or black and applying specific rules to maintain balance during operations.

5. Trie

A trie, also known as a prefix tree, is a specialized tree used for efficient retrieval of strings or keys. It is particularly useful in applications such as autocomplete and spell checking. Each node in the trie represents a prefix or a complete word, and the edges represent characters.

6. Heap

A heap is a complete binary tree that satisfies the heap property. The heap property ensures that the value of each parent node is either greater than or equal to (in a max heap) or less than or equal to (in a min heap) the values of its children. Heaps are commonly used to implement priority queues.


Trees are versatile data structures that find applications in various domains of computer science, including databases, file systems, network routing algorithms, and more. Understanding different types of trees and their properties can help you choose an appropriate data structure for solving specific problems efficiently.

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