The recursion-tree method in Design and analysis of algorithms free notes
A recursion tree is best used to generate a good guess, which is then verified by the substitution method. When using a recursion tree to generate a good guess, you can often tolerate a small amount of "sloppiness," since you will be verifying your guess later on. If you are very careful when drawing out a recursion tree and summing the costs, however, you can use a recursion tree as a direct proof of a solution to a recurrence. In this section, we will use recursion trees to generate good guesses, and in Section 4.4, we will use recursion trees directly to prove the theorem that forms the basis of the master method.