Maven Command to Check Dependency Tree

Maven manages project dependencies using the pom.xml file. Within this file, developers declare the required dependencies, and Maven takes care of downloading and making them available for the project.

The dependency:tree Command

The Maven command to display the dependency tree is dependency:tree. Running this command will provide a hierarchical view of the dependencies, giving a clear picture of what libraries your project directly depends on and the transitive dependencies (libraries that your dependencies rely on). 

How to Use the Command 

Open a terminal or command prompt in the directory containing your project's pom.xml file and run:

mvn dependency:tree

You'll then see an output resembling a tree structure, indicating the dependencies and their relationships. 

Filtering the Output 

If your project has a lot of dependencies, the output can be overwhelming. Thankfully, Maven provides options to filter the results. 

To view the dependency tree for a specific dependency, you can use:

mvn dependency:tree -Dincludes=groupId:artifactId

Replace groupId and artifactId with the appropriate values for the dependency you're interested in.

Understanding the Output 

Here's a brief breakdown of the sample output:

\- com.library:useful-library:jar:2.1.0:compile
   \- com.library:nested-library:jar:3.2.1:compile

  • com.example:my-project:jar:1.0.0 is your project. 
  • com.library:useful-library:jar:2.1.0:compile is a direct dependency. 
  • com.library:nested-library:jar:3.2.1:compile is a transitive dependency of useful-library. 
The compile indicates the dependency's scope, meaning it's required for compiling the project and will be included in the runtime classpath.

Why Check the Dependency Tree? 

Understanding your project's dependencies can help: 

  • Detect version conflicts.
  • Identify unnecessary dependencies. 
  • Resolve build or runtime issues related to missing or mismatched libraries. 


The dependency:tree command in Maven is a powerful utility to visually inspect and manage the dependencies in your Java project. With its filtering capabilities, it allows developers to focus on specific dependencies, making it easier to diagnose and resolve potential issues.