Some 10 years ago. It was when my grandmother was still active enough to go to a nearby Shinto shrine to meet her friends and do some exercise every morning. She saw ginkgo trees over there having lots of nuts and thought it's a shame not to share them with families.
There're mixed info about what she actually did. I heard she picked up some nuts right there (carefully, as the fruits is stinky and make your skin itchy, develop rash for a lot of people), cleaned them. My mom says she just picked up some already cleaned, ready-to-roast nuts at store. Anyway, she sent some nuts to me via my mom. Mom ate them all. I planted some, and one of them grew into a pretty pretty tree.
When we moved to the US, I sent the pot to my brother. The tree was just 30 cm or so tall. After 5 years, when we moved back to Kyoto, he sent it back to me. It's now as tall as my husband (he is as tall as Wandy Rodoriguez, fellow Astros fans.)
Here's the conversation on the phone between my bro and transport company guy.
Bro; ... and here's one more. A pot. Pretty big, planting pot.
Trp; Is it made of clay or plastic?
Trp; (relieved) Ok. No problem.
Bro; Except it's taller than me...
Trp; Huh? .... Does it have any PLANT in it?
Bro; Sorry, I should have said so.
They are professional, so they just brought it to us overnight (as expected, it's just 100 km or 60-some miles) without farther whining, along with a piece of shamisen and seven boxes full of photo albums and books.
The tree is here. Every time I see it, I think of my grandmother who passed away last year. She is gone, but here I am, thinking of her. And talking about her.
It hasn't produced any fruits yet. I hope it's not because the tree is still young, but because it's a male. I really hope so. I love eating ginkgo nuts, but the smell of the fruits... not really. Especially when it's 2.5 meter (~8 ft) from our dining table.
I found a crochet pattern of Ginkgo leaf. I think I can make some in several shades of pretty green, golden yellow, and maybe in reddish brown, too. We can't live forever, and these days, I feel it's OK as that's how the things go.