Using fuzzy-rough hybrids, we have proposed a measure to quantify the functional dependency of decision attribute(s) on condition attribute(s) within fuzzy data. We have shown that the proposed measure of dependency degree is a generalization of the measure proposed by Pawlak for crisp data. In this paper, this new measure of dependency degree has been encapsulated into the decision tree generation mechanism to produce fuzzy-rough classification trees (FRCT); efficient, top-down, multi-class decision tree structures geared to solving classification problems from feature-based learning examples. The developed FRCT generation algorithm has been applied to 16 real-world benchmark datasets. It is experimentally compared with the five fuzzy decision tree generation algorithms reported so far, and the rough decomposition tree algorithm. Comparison has been made in terms of number of rules, average training time, and classification accuracy. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm to generate FRCT outperforms existing fuzzy decision tree generation techniques and rough decomposition tree induction algorithm. © 2007 Springer-Verlag London Limited.