The Reverend T.R. Malthus (1766–1834) is remembered for An essay on the principle of population, in which he wrote that the food supply increases arithmetically. He inferred that the human population, if unchecked, would ultimately be limited by famine, disease and war, and consequently advocated restraint. Malthus wrote: ‘there is a limit to [agricultural] improvement, though we do not know exactly where it is ... [so] a careful distinction should be made between an unlimited progress and a progress where the limit is merely undefined’.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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