Actually, people do use k-ary trees for arbitrary k.

This is, however, a tradeoff.

To find an element in a k-ary tree, you need around k*ln(N)/ln(k) operations (remember the change-of-base formula). The larger your k is, the more overall operations you need.

The logical extension of what you are saying is “why don’t people use an N-ary tree for N data elements?”. Which, of course, would be an array.

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