CakePHP Getting Tree Path

In a reversal of yesterday's post is today's, getting a path to a node, or nodes. Basically we just use the core getpath() function of the Tree behavior and traverse that path.

function setTreePath(&$data, $path='tree_path', $label='name') {
    if (!is_array($data) || !in_array('Tree', $this->actsAs)) {
        return $data;
    if (is_array($data) && is_int(array_shift(array_keys($data)))) {
        foreach ($data as $i=>$item) {
            $this->_setTreePath($data[$i], $path, $label);
    } else {
        $this->_setTreePath($data, $path, $label);

function _setTreePath(&$data, $pathField, $label) {
    $cats = $this->getpath($data[$this->name][$this->primaryKey]);
    $path = array();
    foreach ($cats as $cat) {
        array_push($path, $cat[$this->name][$label]);
    $data[$this->name][$pathField] = implode('/', $path);

And we can use it simply like in the following test:

function testSetTreePath() {
    $result = $this->Category->findById(3);
    $this->Category->setTreePath($result, 'tree_id');
    $this->assertEqual($result['Category']['tree_id'], 'My Categories/Fun/Sport');

It's mostly useful when working with related models, so the whole path is displayed instead of just the nodes, which may or may not be unique.

Ben Snider

Benjamin Snider

Hi! 👋 I'm Ben and I like to write about technical and nerdy things. Historically about Swift and iOS. But, I've recently started a masters program in computer science (Georgia Tech's OMSCS), so the content here may pivot as such.  Get @me!