What Is Tree Data Structure Geeksforgeeks?


Angela Bailey

A tree data structure is a widely used concept in computer science and is often encountered in various algorithms and data structures. It is a hierarchical structure that resembles a tree, with nodes representing elements or data points and edges representing the relationships between them. In this article, we will explore the tree data structure in detail and understand its importance in solving complex problems.

Basic Terminology

Before diving deeper into the tree data structure, let’s familiarize ourselves with some basic terms:

  • Node: A node is a fundamental building block of a tree that contains data and pointers to its child nodes.
  • Root: The root is the topmost node of a tree. It does not have any parent nodes.
  • Parent: A parent node is directly connected to its child node(s).
  • Child: Child nodes are connected to their parent node.
  • Siblings: Nodes that share the same parent are called siblings.
  • Leaf: A leaf node, also known as external node, does not have any child nodes.

The Importance of Tree Data Structure

The tree data structure provides an efficient way to organize and store hierarchical data. It allows easy traversal through different levels of the hierarchy, making it suitable for various applications such as:

  • Hierarchical File Systems: Trees are commonly used to represent file systems, where each directory represents a node and files are stored as leaves.
  • Databases: Many databases use trees to efficiently store and retrieve information based on keys or indexes.
  • Organizational Structures: Trees can represent organizational hierarchies, with each node representing an employee and its children representing subordinates.
  • Decision Trees: Decision-making processes can be represented as trees, making it easier to analyze different possibilities and outcomes.

Types of Trees

Trees can have various types depending on their properties and organization. Let’s explore some common types of trees:

Binary Tree

A binary tree is a type of tree where each node has at most two children, often referred to as the left child and the right child. Binary trees are extensively used in searching algorithms like binary search.

BST (Binary Search Tree)

A binary search tree is a type of binary tree that follows a specific ordering property. The value of each node in the left subtree is less than its parent’s value, while the value of each node in the right subtree is greater than its parent’s value. This property allows efficient searching, insertion, and deletion operations.

Balanced Tree

A balanced tree is a type of tree where the heights of left and right subtrees differ by at most one. These trees ensure that operations like searching, insertion, and deletion are performed efficiently by maintaining a balanced structure.


The tree data structure is an essential concept in computer science that provides an efficient way to organize hierarchical data. Understanding different types of trees and their properties enables us to solve complex problems more effectively. Whether you’re working with file systems, databases, or decision-making processes, trees offer a versatile solution for handling hierarchical relationships.

Now that you have a solid understanding of what a tree data structure is, go ahead and explore its practical applications and implementation in your programming projects!

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