We obtain the sharp upper and lower bounds for the spectral radius of a nonnegative weakly irreducible tensor. By using the technique of the representation associate matrix of a tensor and the associate directed graph of the matrix, the equality cases of the bounds are completely characterized by graph theory methods. Applying these bounds to a nonnegative irreducible matrix or a connected graph (digraph), we can improve the results of L. H. You, Y. J. Shu, and P. Z. Yuan [Linear Multilinear Algebra, 2017, 65(1): 113–128], and obtain some new or known results. Applying these bounds to a uniform hypergraph, we obtain some new results and improve some known results of X. Y. Yuan, M. Zhang, and M. Lu [Linear Algebra Appl., 2015, 484: 540–549]. Finally, we give a characterization of a strongly connected k-uniform directed hypergraph, and obtain some new results by applying these bounds to a uniform directed hypergraph.