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Gala apple trees

Gala

One of the most popular apple varieties, and a good mid-season variety for the garden in many areas. The sweet flavour of ripe Gala apples eaten straight from the tree is quite a surprise compared to supermarket examples.

Another surprise is the fruit size, which is likely to be quite a bit larger than the small snack-size apples that are most usually sold in the shops. When home-grown (and well-thinned) Gala apples will get to a nice size, much more reminscent of its parent Kidd's Orange Red.

Gala is also a good variety for juicing, as you might expect the flavour is rich and sweet, useful for mixing with other sharper varieties.

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Gala apple trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree M26 rootstock £39.50
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • PG22-year bush-trained 12L pot-grown tree MM106 rootstock £39.50
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)

Bare-root

  • BR1Spindlebush bare-root tree M9 rootstock £29.95
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
  • BR21-year bare-root tree M26 rootstock £19.95
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR32-year bush-trained bare-root tree M26 rootstock £29.95
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR41-year bare-root tree MM106 rootstock £19.95
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)

How to grow

Gala is widely grown on a commercial basis in South Africa, Chile, New Zealand, and France. One of its unique characteristics is that Gala will produce good-quality apples across an unusually wide range of climates from cool temperate to hot.

Gala can be grown successfully in the south, central, and east of the UK, and crops well.

However Gala is susceptible to fungal infections. If you have a dry climate this is not usually such a problem - and the flavour of home-grown ripe Gala apples is worth a bit of effort - but it is not a good choice for mild or wet climates.

Most sports of Gala have some degree of self-fertility - but will set much better crops if there is a nearby pollination partner.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Gala was developed by New Zealand apple enthusiast J.H. Kidd from one of his earlier successes, Kidd's Orange Red, which he crossed with Golden Delicious. Through this parentage Gala unites three of the world's most influential apple varieties, Cox's Orange Pippin, Delicious, and Golden Delicious. The Kidd's Orange Red parentage is more obvious in Gala than the Golden Delicious side. More surprisingly, the influence of Delicious (one of the parent's of Kidd's Orange Red) comes through very strongly in Gala, more so than in Kidd's Orange Red - the deep red colour, sweet flavour, and large upright shape are very reminscent of Delicious.

Gala is one of the most commercially important of all apple varieties, and as a result a large number of Gala "sports" exist. These are naturally occuring mutations which are mostly indistinguishable from the original in terms of flavour but may have a deeper coloration or more pronounced flush to the skin. Royal Gala is probably the best known. We occasionally offer some of these newer forms but most of our trees are the original Gala, which in our opinion has more attractive skin hues and better flavour when home-grown.

Gala characteristics

Using

  • CroppingGood
  • Picking seasonLate
  • Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Flavour qualityAverage
  • WildlifeRHS perfect for pollinators
  • Flavour style (apples)Sweeter
  • Food usesEating freshJuice
  • Discoloration of fruitSlightly oxidising (browns slowly)

Growing

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityPartially self-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • VigourVigorous
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer

Problems

  • Disease resistancePoor
  • CankerSome susceptibility
  • FireblightSome susceptibility
  • MildewSome susceptibility
  • ScabVery susceptible

Climate

  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesWarm climates
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(5) -20F / -29C
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)Hot (>30C / 86F)
  • Frost resistance of blossomGood resistance

Identification

  • Country of originNew Zealand
  • Period of origin1900 - 1949
  • Flower colourPink - light
  • Leaf colourGreen
  • Fruit colourOrange / Red
  • AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit