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Even though it’s often stored for months and then shipped halfway around the world before ever reaching the produce aisle, Gala is one of America’s favorite apples. So just imagine what a ripe, juicy, FRESH Gala apple will taste like when you pick it off your own tree! After you’ve grown your own Galas, you may not be able to go back to supermarket apples again. This sweet, fragrant apple is tops for packing in a lunch box, and it also cooks down into a delectable applesauce, making it a little easier for even the pickiest eaters of the family to get their “apple a day.”
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
- Spacing: 12-15'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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The Gala Apple Tree was hybridized in New Zealand in the 1930s by James Hutton Kidd, an English-born fruit grower who, sadly, didn’t live to see the wild success of his introduction. Kidd died in 1945, and the Gala Apple didn’t go into production until the 1960s. It didn’t enter American markets until the 1970s. To create this wonder apple, Kidd first crossed Cox’s Orange Pippin, a beloved British dessert apple, with Red Delicious. Then he crossed the resulting hybrid with Golden Delicious. It took several years for the seedlings of each pairing to bear fruit and reveal whether they were worth keeping or not, but in the end, the patience of Kidd and the breeders who carried on his work paid off.
Your garden will be a gala in spring with this tree’s fragrant apple blossoms, which are soft pink in bud, opening to white. Bees will eagerly work the flowers, ensuring that there will be a good crop of apples to follow if a suitable “pollinizer” is around. Gala is partially self-fertile, which means that it will set some fruit on its own, but crops will be heavier with another Apple Tree, such as Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, nearby. Most Crabapple Trees, like Royal Raindrops®, Prairie Fire, or Louisa, will also do the job if you decide that one Apple Tree is plenty for your family.
How to Grow
The Gala Apple Tree isn’t difficult to keep alive, but to make it really thrive and to get a good crop of healthy fruit from it does require a bit of know-how. Plant this tree in an open, sunny area in soil that is well drained. Avoid planting it in a low area of the landscape or “frost pocket” (although Gala does show more tolerance to late frosts than other Apple Trees). It has a low chill requirement and is well adapted to areas with mild winters. Now for the bad news: Gala Apple is highly susceptible to both fire blight and apple scab. These diseases can be controlled by preventative sprays. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to discuss other disease control options. We’ll be happy to help you find the safest and most effective plan for you.
Questions & Answers
Q: Can I make cider from Gala apples?
A: In making apple cider you can use a single apple variety or follow the commonly held tradition that the best cider comes from using multiple apple varieties. The variety selections should be chosen from three different categories of apple for the best cider. These categories are called sweet, sharp and bitter - each apple variety falls into one of the three categories. Gala will make a great choice for the sweet apple selection when making cider or can be used to make a single apple variety cider!
Q: How big will this tree grow?
A: We grow Gala apples on a semi-dwarfing rootstock (S-M7). This will give you an apple that will grow 12-15’ in height and width before pruning to form. You can expect a substantial harvest in 3 to 5 years using this rootstock, or about 3 years after planted at your home.
Q: Do I need another apple to pollinate a Gala apple?
A: While it has been reported to be partially self-fertile, to get a good crop from your Gala Apple each year you should have another apple variety within 100 feet to cross-pollinate (two Gala Apple trees will not cross-pollinate each other). The two apple varieties will cross-pollinate each other and both trees will provide you with a great harvest each year. Cortland, Granny Smith, Macoun, Red Delicious and Yellow Delicious will all be compatible with Gala for good cross-pollination.
Another pollination partner for Gala can be a Crabapple within 100’. Crabapples, especially the white varieties, are great providers of pollen for apples!
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Size A Trees:
5-6’ tall. Grown and shipped in our #7 fruit tree container. You can expect fruiting in your very first year! Pruned for fruit production. The hard work has been done for you, time to enjoy.
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