The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Tree Diagrams

Do you or your team need to know all of the possible outcomes of a certain action? Do you need to determine the most probable outcome? In order to do so, you must be able to visualize each possible outcome and consider its merits. One of the best visualization tools for determining probabilities is a tree diagram.

What Is a Tree Diagram?

What Is a Tree Diagram?

A tree diagram is a way of visualizing all of the possible outcomes and determining which one is possible. Each "branch" of the tree represents a possible outcome. Tree diagrams are particularly useful in charting the outcomes of dependent events, where if you change one element of the event, you impact the entire outcome.

Imagine if you needed to consider all of the potential outcomes of rolling a die. The die has six sides, with each side representing a number from 1-6. A simple tree diagram would show you the six branches, which all represent a possible outcome to rolling a die. Because each number of dots is only printed on one side, you are equally likely to roll one number as you are any other number. You can easily see that your chance of rolling a six is 1/6.

Tree Diagram Examples

How are tree diagrams used in the everyday world? Here are a few examples:

  • In the business world, tree diagrams are often referred to as organizational charts, and they can be used to explore one specific aspect of your company. If you wanted to organize your team for a project, for example, you could use a diagram. Starting from the President of the company and branching off to department-level managers, and then the team members for each department.
  • The tree diagram can also be used to determine the feasibility of adding a new service to your business, showing you detailed information about the pros and cons, cost analysis, and other considerations that will allow you to determine if the time is right for adding that service.

How to Make a Tree Diagram

While you can certainly use a clean sheet of paper and a pen to sketch out a tree diagram to assist you with personal decisions, mind mapping software can make the process easier to see and understand. Additionally, the software allows you to share the diagram with others on your team, collaborate in the creation of it, or print it out for use in board reports or other documentation.

In order to make a tree diagram, you must first start with the main concept and place it inside a circle. From there, you can create branches that lead to related ideas or potential outcomes. Each branch should contain keywords that help the viewer to easily see the connection of the branches to the main concept. You can continue branching out with related ideas until you have enough possible outcomes mapped out to assist you in making your decision.

Tree Diagram Software

Tree diagram software allows you to create thought maps digitally. Most of the time, they offer more than just tree diagrams. It is usually a mind mapping software that allows you to create many types of maps and charts. Some things to look for when looking at tree diagram software:

  • Price: Make sure that the software is within your budget. But don't compromise quality for cost. If you plan on using the software often in your business or organization, it is worth getting quality software.
  • Features: Make sure that the software has the features you need. It may also be useful to check out their features and see if they have anything that can help with some of your other processes.
  • Template: Templates save a ton of time, so if the software offers templates for different maps and charts, it can save you a lot of time, headache, and money.

Get Started Fast with Templates!

MindManager comes pre-installed with many templates for you to choose from. To use these templates:

  1. Open MindManager
  2. Click NEW in the navigation menu
  3. Select the template you want to use
  4. A preview screen will appear. Check to if you want to use your selected template
  5. Select Create Map
  6. Customize the template for your specific project

Other Types of Maps and Charts


MindManager software allows you to create tree diagrams easily. This tree diagram tool provides you with a number of templates to use, powerful sharing options through HTML 5, and simplified management that allows you to safely store, utilize, and retrieve your tree diagram anytime you need it. MindManager's software integrates with many apps, including Asana, Google Docs, and OneDrive. It also offers the ability for you to create other types of documents as well, including workflow diagrams, timeline charts, knowledge maps, and more. Try MindManager for free and see why it is one of the best tree diagram creators on the market.