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A tree is visualization of a structure hierarchy. A branch can be expanded or collapsed.

BaseDesktop OnlyRequires ui:scrollerWrapper


About Base

A tree is composed of two core elements .slds-tree and .slds-tree__item. The tree wrapper, the outer most parent ul, will receive the class .slds-tree. This class will be used for scoping a tree, which allows for particular styling based on states in which the tree may enter.

A tree will need helper classes added and removed to help structure the layout. Each child node list item needs an aria-level attribute with its value being the number of levels deep it is nested to indicate the distinct grouping is nested within.

Whenever the tree has a nested group, the nested ul element should receive the ARIA role group. The parent li[role="treeitem"] requires the aria-expanded attribute to be applied. Toggling aria-expanded to true or false will show or hide the child group. The parent li[role="treeitem"] also requires aria-label to be applied and set to the tree items text value, this ensures child groups are't announced to screen readers as you interact with that branch.

When ever a role="treeitem" node is selected, aria-selected="true" needs to be applied to display the selected styles.

In our example, we are using a chevron icon on tree branches to help indicate to the user what action clicking the tree branch will perform, whether opening or closing it. The effect of rotating the icon 90° to indicate open/closed status is achieved by applying the ARIA attribute aria-expanded to the treeitem. aria-hidden="true" and tabindex="-1" must be placed on the toggle button.

Tree items can only contain text values, no actionable elements, apart from our toggle button, can be placed inside a Tree item.

Trees can only contain a single focusable tree item and tabindex="0" must be placed on the li[role="treeitem] that takes current focus. Every other actionable and non-actionable element must be made unfocusable by adding tabindex="-1" or removing tabindex, respectively.

When implementing collapsed rows, we suggest showing the content DOM nodes within each collapsed row only once the row is expanded for performance reasons. You can additionally toggle the hidden row with slds-show and slds-hide if you intend to keep all of the content in the DOM.

You can add metatext (see: metatext state) to any tree item, which adds a smaller, second line of text below tree node labels to provide supplemental information (to provide users with added context, aid with identification/disambiguation). To add metatext, include an additional span within the treeitem with the class slds-tree__item-meta. We've added an additional parent span around the label/title and metatext to ensure the spacing works properly when metatext is included. If adding metatext to a tree item with child nodes (i.e. a branch), be sure to update the aria-label to include the metatext. For example: aria-label="Tree Branch Label: Tree Branch Metatext"


Interaction requirements

  • Only a single action per tree item
  • Only 1 focusabled item per Tree
  • Actionable elements in a tree item are mouse only and should not be focusable, they should be presentational and should be hidden from screen readers and keyboard users
  • Focus is placed on the entire li[role="treeitem"]. If that item has child items, focus must include those as well.

Notable attributes

  • role="tree" is placed on the ul
  • role="tree" element also has aria-labelledby applied which points to the trees heading element
  • role="treeitem" is placed on the tree li elements
  • aria-level is applied to treeitem elements to indicate their nesting depth
  • aria-expanded is applied to treeitem elements that have child tree nodes. It is set to true or false
  • aria-label is applied to treeitem elements that have child tree nodes. Be sure to add any metatext to the label, if applicable
  • aria-selected="true" is applied to treeitem elements that are selected
  • tabindex="0" is applied to the treeitem that is in focus
  • role="group" is applied to child tree node containers, ul

Keyboard navigation

  • Clicking on a tree item creates a selection
  • Up and Down arrow keys move :focus and aria-selected. Previous selections are cleared
  • Right arrow key to expand collapsed node.
  • Left arrow key to collapse expanded node.
  • Left arrow key on an end child node, collapses the group and moves :focus and aria-selected to the parent treeitem
  • Enter performs the default action on an end tree item (if there is one).
  • Ctrl + Up and Ctrl + Down moves focus. Current selection is maintained
  • Ctrl + Space will add or remove the currently focused tree item to the selection


When filtering a tree you should couple the tree with a search input. The search input will control the contents of the tree and as such should the attribute aria-controls added to it. The value of the aria-controls attribute should be the ID of the tree it controls. The search input should also be of type search.

Upon typing in the input the tree should start filtering immediately, expanding all nodes that have matching tree items to display, and highlighting the search term in each of the matching items. The highlight is provided by wrapping the term in <mark /> elements.

Overview of CSS Classes


A tree is visualization of a structure hierarchy. A branch can be expanded or collapsed.


Initializes a slds tree

Restrict.slds-tree_container ul, table

Initializes a slds tree item

Restrict.slds-tree div

Selected state for a tree item


Focus state for a tree item


Hover state for a tree item


When a branch doesn't have children, apply slds-is-disabled to the button icon

Restrict.slds-tree__item button

The label text of a tree item or tree branch

Restrict.slds-tree__item span

The meta text or secondary text of a tree item

Restrict.slds-tree__item span

Styles the focus and selected state for any tree item that has role="treeitem"

Restrict.slds-tree li

Initializes a slds tree group header

Restrict.slds-tree_container h4