# Schur and $e$-Positivity of Trees and Cut Vertices

### Abstract

We prove that the chromatic symmetric function of any $n$-vertex tree containing a vertex of degree $d\geqslant \log _2n +1$ is not $e$-positive, that is, not a positive linear combination of elementary symmetric functions. Generalizing this, we also prove that the chromatic symmetric function of any $n$-vertex connected graph containing a cut vertex whose deletion disconnects the graph into $d\geqslant\log _2n +1$ connected components is not $e$-positive. Furthermore we prove that any $n$-vertex bipartite graph, including all trees, containing a vertex of degree greater than $\lceil \frac{n}{2}\rceil$ is not Schur-positive, namely not a positive linear combination of Schur functions. In complete generality, we prove that if an $n$-vertex connected graph has no perfect matching (if $n$ is even) or no almost perfect matching (if $n$ is odd), then it is not $e$-positive. We hence deduce that many graphs containing the claw are not $e$-positive.