Look at this little mango tree…
It is growing underneath the shade of a big mango tree and a Narra tree.
I have not sown nor planted it…
The mango fruit naturally fell from the tree to the ground in a thick layer of mango leaf litter.
There the fruit was devoured by ants, bees, fruit flies, yeasts, molds, and other organisms until only the seed remained in the mulch.
The slightly damp leaf litter combined with the shade of the mango tree provided excellent conditions for the seed to not dry out and sprout.
It sprouted and emerged out of the mulch and now it is growing together with grass, nitrogen-fixing weeds, and other herbaceous plants.
The shade of the mother tree still provides protection from the sun to this little tree, making the small tree able to handle long periods without rain.
And as the mango leaf litter which comes from the same mother tree slowly decomposes it provides nutrients to the little tree.
The little mango tree will slowly grow bigger and establish its roots. Then perhaps in decades or centuries of time the mother tree will die and fall over.
As the mother tree falls to the ground it will become a nurse log slowly disappearing through termites and mushrooms, and so transforms into rich fertilizer for the child tree.
With the mother tree gone more sunlight will reach down and a surge of growth from weeds and trees starts. But the child mango tree is already a bit tall and will easily outcompete the weeds and with the new sunlight and space it will reach up to spread its canopy. Finally, then it will be able to grow delicious fruits and restart the cycle.
What I have described above is an ideal scenario. It could also be that the seed just rots. Or the fruit is eaten by an animal and taken away and the seed tossed somewhere else – then it might dry out or grow a little bit and then die from drought. Or the little tree will be overcrowded by weeds and vines and die from being outcompeted. Or an animal or insect will eat all the leaves of the tree and it dies. Or the tree dies from a fungal or mold attack. Or the mother tree will fall on top of the little tree, killing it.
Any of these things could happen, but whatever happens, nature never stands still and always moves forward. Maybe the mango tree was never meant to be there and its time is short-lived; its nutrients recycled to the soil to be grown into other things.
Whatever the case I will see how this will turn out, and I will be entertained whatever the outcome.