Wide and deep trees

There are two ways to describe the shape of a tree. Trees can be wide, meaning that each node has many children. And trees can be deep, meaning that there are many parent-child connections with few siblings per node. Trees can be both wide and deep at the same time.

Binary search tree

In a binary search tree, parent nodes can have a maximum of two children. These children are called the “left child” and the “right child”. A binary search tree requires that the values stored by the left child are less than the value of the parent, and the values stored by the right child are greater than that of the parent.

Nodes as parents

Trees in computer science are often talked about similarly to family trees. A tree node that references one or more other nodes is called a “parent”.

A tree node can be a “parent” and a “child” simultaneously, because they are not exclusive. For instance, a node ‘b’ can be the child of node ‘a’, while being the parent to nodes ‘d’ and ‘e’. However, a child can only have one parent, while a parent can have multiple children.

Trees are composed of nodes

Trees are a data structure composed of nodes used for storing hierarchical data.

Each tree node typically stores a value and references to its child nodes.

Tree nodes children

A tree node contains a value, and can also include references to one or more additional tree nodes which are known as “children”.

Node root

In a tree data structure, the node that is not the child of any other node is called the root of the tree. A tree can only have one root.