Gala apples bring a sweet, clean refreshing crunch to the table. It is one of the best apples for eating off the tree. It is also one of the first apples of the season to ripen, brightening up green summer foliage with hues of red and yellow. Gala apples are vertically striped or mottled, overall orange in color. They are sweet, fine textured, and aromatic, can be added to salads or cooked, and are especially suitable for creating sauces. Gala apples ranked at number 2 in 2006 on the US Apple Association's list of most popular apples, after 'Red Delicious' and before 'Golden Delicious', 'Granny Smith', and 'Fuji' (in order).
- Botanical name: Malus 'Gala'
- Zone range: 5 - 8
- Size at maturity: 18 - 20' Tall X 12 - 13' Wide
- Harvest: Late August/Early September
- Sun level: Full sun
- Soil composition: Loamy
- Soil moisture: Well-drained
- Optimal soil pH: 6.0 - 7.0
- Years to bear: 2 - 5
Best pollinators: Akane, Cortland, Pink Lady, Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Jonathan
The Gala apple tree is partially self-fertile, but a nearby pollination partner of a different variety is beneficial. Most crab apples with a white blossom will also be good pollinators for this variety.
The first Gala apple tree was one of many seedlings resulting from a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Kidd's Orange Red planted in New Zealand in the 1930s by orchardist J.H. Kidd. Donald W. McKenzie, an employee of Stark Bros Nursery, obtained a US plant patent for the cultivar on October 15, 1974.