(related to Proposition: Equivalent Definitions of Trees)

By hypothesis, $G(V,E,\gamma)$ is an undirected graph.

- Let \(G\) be a tree.
- Let $G^\prime(V,E^\prime,\gamma^\prime)$ be a supergraph of $G$ containing at least one additional edge $e^\prime\in E^\prime\setminus E.$
- Without loss of generality, assume $e^\prime$ is not a loop (otherwise, $G^\prime$ would contain a cycle).
- In other words, without loss of generality, $\gamma^\prime(e^\prime)=\{v,u\}$ with $u\neq v.$
- Since $G$ is a tree, it is connected.
- Therefore, there is a path $P$ connecting $u$ and $v$.
- Since $e^\prime$ connects $u$ and $v$ directly, $P$+$e^\prime$ is a cycle.
- Thus, $G$ contains no cycle and any supergraph of $G$ contains a cycle.

- Let $G$ contain no cycle and let any supergraph of $G$ contain a cycle.
- Let $u,v\in V$ be a pair of any vertices.
- Because $G$ contains no cycle, it also contains no loops. Therefore, we can assume $u\neq v.$
- Let $e^\prime=\{u,v\}$ be an additional edge of the supergraph $G^\prime:=(V,E\cup\{e^\prime\},\gamma).$
- By assumption $G^\prime$ contains a cycle and this cycle must contain $e^\prime$, since $G$ had no cycles.
- Without loss of generality, set $C=(v=v_0,e^\prime,u=v_1,e_2,\ldots,e_k,v_k=v)$ to a cycle containing $e^\prime.$
- It follows that $P=(u=v_1,e_2,\ldots,e_k,v_k=v)$ is a path connecting $u$ and $v$ in $G.$
- Assume, there exists another path $Q=(u=v_1,e^\prime_2,\ldots,e^\prime_k,v_k=v)$ connecting $u$ and $v$ in $G.$
- By assumption $P\neq Q$ and therefore, there are indices $i\in\{2,\ldots,k\}$ such that $e_i\neq e^\prime_i.$
- By the well-ordering principle, there is a minimal such index $i\ge 2.$
- Then, the edges $e_i$ and $e^\prime_i$ connect the vertex $v_{i-1}$ with two different vertices $v_{i}$ and $v^\prime_{i},$ otherwise $(v_{i-1},e_i,v_i,e^\prime_i,v_{i-1})$ woud be a cycle.
- Since both $P$ and $Q$ end at the same vertex $v_k=v,$ the set of indices $j$ such that $j>i$ and $v_j=v^\prime_j,$ is not empty.
- Using the well-ordering principle once again, there is a minimal index $j$ such that $i < j\le k,$ and at which both paths $P$ und $Q$ meet together again.
- This would mean that between $v_{i-1}$ and $v_j$ there is a cycle formed by parts of the paths $P$ and $Q$.
- This is a contradiction to the hypothesis, $G$ contained no cycle.
- Thus, $P$ and $Q$ are identical.

- It follows that for every pair of vertices $u,v\in V$ there is exactly one path $P^k:=x_0x_1\ldots x_{k-1}x_k$ in $G$ with $x_0=u$ and $x_k=v$.

- Assume, every pair of vertices $u,v\in V$ there is exactly one path $P^k:=x_0x_1\ldots x_{k-1}x_k$ in $G$ with $x_0=u$ and $x_k=v$.
- Trivially, $G$ is connected.
- Now, let us remove any edge $e\in E$ from $G$ with $\gamma(e)=\{u,v\}.$
- If $u=v,$ then $e$ was a loop and $P=u$ and $Q=(u,e)$ would be two different paths from $u$ to $u.$
- Therefore, $u\neq v.$
- Assume $G$ without the edge $e$ is still connected.
- Then there is a path $Q$ from $u$ to $v$ not passing through the edge $e.$
- But then, $Q$ and $P=(u,e,v)$ would be two different paths in $G$ connecting $u$ and $v.$

- It follows $G$ is connected and the removal of any edge leaves $G$ disconnected ($G$ is "minimally connected").

- Let $G$ be minimally connected.
- We prove first the inequality $|E|\le |V|-1$ by induction on $n=|V|.$
- Base cases $n=1$ * The inequality is correct since $G$ is minimally connected, there are $0$ edges in $G,$ and $0\le 1-1.$
- Induction step $n\to n+1$ * Assume, for all trees with $k$ vertices, $1 \le k < n,$ we have $|E|\le |V|-1.$ * $(4)$ shows that removing any edge $e$ disconnects $G$ in some components $G_1,\ldots G_p.$ * By induction assumption $|E_i|\le |V_i|-1$ for all $i=1,\ldots,p.$ * Because $G_1,\ldots G_p$ are a partition, we can sum up all $p$ inequalities to get $|E|\le |V|-p\le |V|-1.$
- It follows $|E|\le |V|-1$ for all minimally connected graphs $G.$

- We now observe that for all minimally connected graphs $|V|\le |E|+1,$ since any edge connects at most $2$ different vertices. In other words $|E|\ge |V|-1.$
- Since $|E|\le |V|-1$ and $|E|\ge |V|-1,$ it follows $G$ is connected and $|E|=|V|-1.$

- Every $G$ is connected and $|E|=|V|-1.$
- Assume, $C$ is a cycle in $G$ containing some edge $e.$
- Then the subgraph $H$ retrieved from $G$ by removing $e$ is still connected and contains $|V|-2$ edges.
- This is a contradiction to the hypothesis.
- Therefore, $G$ has no cycle and $|E|=|V|-1.$

- Assume, $G$ has no cycle and $|E|=|V|-1.$
- By definition, $G$ is a forest.
- Assume, $G$ is not connected and consists of the components $G_1,\ldots,G_p.$
- Since every $G_i$ is a tree, we have by the implications $(1)\Rightarrow\ldots\Rightarrow(5)$ that $|E_i|=|V_i|-1$ for $i=1,\ldots,p.$
- It follows $$|V|-1=|E|=\sum_{i=1}^p |E_i|=\sum_{i=1}^p (|V_i|-1)=|V|-p.$$
- Now, it follows $p=1.$
- Therefore, $G$ is a tree.∎

**Krumke S. O., Noltemeier H.**: "Graphentheoretische Konzepte und Algorithmen", Teubner, 2005, 1st Edition