When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and cheque'd even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with Decay,
To change your day of youth to sullied night;
And all in war with Time for love of you,
As he takes from you, I engraft you new.
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet XV
We finally put netting over the stonefruit tree in the Veggie Garden, but by the time we got to it, all the fruits pictured were pecked to death. While we can't exactly engraft the fruit new, we at least managed to protect a handful of fuzzy peaches.
This tree is a healthy rootstock with three different fruits grafted on top. We've seen peaches every few years, particularly when harvest is preceeded by a hard winter frost (rare). We once saw nectarines. But the third branch, possibly an apricot, has never borne fruit. The lesson here seems to be if you want three kinds of stonefruit, plant three trees. The strongest seems to starve out the weaker grafts. The birds, or squirrels or whoever is taking the peaches the minute they ripen, bothers only to taste a bite and wastes the rest of the hard unripe fruit. Nature can be kind of a dick sometimes.