Behold the rainforest canopy, again.
Trees smothered the bushes that sheltered their sapling from grazers. The bushes smothered the grass that protected their soil from erosion. Even the grass didn't start the soil it is standing in.
There never was any mercy. There never was any sanity. Completely succeeding in what they are driven to do guarantees their own extinction. Everything depends on something escaping the encroaching shadow somehow, somewhere, to return, repair and reboot the system after each crash.
And yes, there have been many, many 'successful' self-extinctions. And will be many more.
So Run, you fools..
(because there's never enough shelter..)