On his CodeUtopia blog Jani Hartikainen gives an inside look at a feature of Doctrine, nested sets.
The Doctrine library comes with a feature called nested set, which makes saving trees in a database easy. However, it's quite easy to accidentally cause a lot of extra unneeded queries if not being careful. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while working with the nested set, and some example queries to make understanding it easier.
He gives an example, showing how to get rows from the database - parent and child - and some optimization tips to keep things light. There's also some pros and cons included for doing it either way (the standard fetching or using the more optimized versions).