The three branches of the talent tree available to World of Warcraft hunters are beast mastery, marksmanship and survival. Knowing what each branch of the hunter talent tree does helps a hunter player to customize his character.
The Beast Mastery Talent Tree
As the name implies, the beast mastery branch of the hunter talent tree improves the hunter's pet. As one of the key features of the class is its ability to use a pet to keep the mobs away from the character, many will choose to customize their character with abilities that enhance their pet. For hunters who want to solo their characters, beast mastery is the best choice.
The Marksmanship Talent Tree
The marksmanship talent tree is all about the hunter improving damage with his weapon. The abilities that grant faster attacks to the hunter are in the beast mastery talent tree. Because hunters in World of Warcraft are the primary non-magical ranged class, hunters who go for increased damage and a higher damage per second rating over all will choose the marksmanship talent tree.
The Marksmanship talent tree is considered to be the best choice for hunters who wish to participate in player versus player combat and raiding in World of Warcraft's end game. The true shot aura, which raises the ranged attack power of the entire group, to be the best ability in the marksmanship branch of the hunter talent tree.
The Survival Talent Tree
Hunters who wish to hone their crowd control abilities should choose the survival branch of the hunter talent tree. As traps are difficult to use and the class is perceived to be centered more around damage than crowd control, this is the talent tree that hunters will take up the least. The increased effectiveness of traps as well as the additional range make it attractive to some hunter players.
Combining Branches of the Hunter Talent Tree
It is possible for a World of Warcraft character to change the talents he has learned, but the cost for doing so rises every time a character chooses to unlearn his talents and select new ones. It is best to experiment with a talent tree calculator such as the on available at IGN Vault before deciding how to combine different talents on different branches of the hunter talent tree in game.