The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards

Gala apple



One of the most widely grown apple varieties in the world, and a mainstay of the supermarket apple selection - not least because it is available year round from northern and southern hemisphere suppliers.  One of the unique features of Gala is that it can be grown with good quality results in both temperate and warm apple-growing regions, and it is generally regarded as a low-chill variety (i.e. it can be grown in regions which experience less than 800 hours of cool winter temperatures a year).

Gala is a cross between Kidd's Orange Red and Golden Delicious - a highly promising start.  Bearing in mind that Kidd's Orange Red is the offspring of Cox's Orange Pippin and (Red) Delicious, Gala is effectively a union of three of the world's most important and distinctive apple varieties.  Perhaps the flavor does not quite live up to that promise, but this is still a high quality apple with the potential to deliver really good flavor, particularly when home grown.

The colouration of Gala is exactly as you would expect from a cross between a Cox-type variety (Cox is one of the parents of Kidd's Orange Red) and Golden Delicious. It starts out as a very light coloured Cox, mainly orange streaks over yellow; mature apples are much darker, often a strong red colour. (The colour is a good indicator in supermarket Galas of the age of the apple: if it is very pale then it is probably the new season's crop, probably picked slightly early; if it is very dark then either it has been left deliberately on the tree to mature or it has matured over a long period in a cold store).

It is interesting to compare Gala with Freyberg. Freyberg was developed by the same grower in New Zealand and is a cross between Golden Delicious and Cox's Orange Pippin, whereas Gala is a cross between Golden Delicious and Kidd's Orange Red (which is itself an offspring of Cox). A comparison of Gala and Freyberg is therefore a way of looking at the effect of the aromatic qualities of a Cox, applied in varying degrees on the easy-going sweet flavour of Golden Delicious.

Because Gala is so widely grown, and keeps well in storage, it is not unusual around April/May and September/October to see Gala apples for sale from both northern and southern hemisphere suppliers at the same time - with one having spent roughly six months in storage. In the UK and USA, make sure you are buying southern hemisphere Galas after April, and northern hemisphere after September. We reckon that Galas from South Africa and New Zealand seem to taste fresher and crisper than those from Brazil. From the northern hemisphere, French ones are generally better than UK or Italian ones.  However in both cases it is largely a matter of luck, and regardless of the source, Galas are generally pleasant and un-demanding to eat.

Given its commercial importance, a number of sports have been developed - mutations of the original variety with slightly different qualities (usually better colouration).  The following varieties are all sports or tradenames of Gala: Annaglo, Galaxy, Regala, Tenroy, Mondial Gala, Royal Gala.

Apple purists tend to dismiss supermarket varieties like Gala as bland and boring, often with good reason. However it has to be said that if you want a reliable sweet easy-eating apple, Gala is actually hard to beat. It is also important to compare "apples with apples" - a locally-picked specialist variety in a farmers market is inevitably going to taste better than a supermarket Gala which has travelled from another country. However, anyone fortunate enough to have tried a Gala straight from the tree will know that it has a surprisingly punchy sweet flavour, not found in supermarket specimens.  In freshly-picked examples the sweetness typical of Gala has a pear-like quality - which is perhaps more fully expressed in one of its offspring, Jazz.

At the end of the day, whilst there are undoubtedly many better varieties around, none of them are so readily available !

Our headline photo shows a tree-ripened Gala grown in the south of England.  Note that it is a deeper red than some shop-bought Galas, and the resemblance to Kidd's Orange Red is quite noticeable in this particular example.

Last updated 20 Feb 2012.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.1 out of 5. Total votes cast: 41
 

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

31 Mar 2014 
Gala is a poor mans excuse for an apple! Its taste disgusts me, whenever I take a bite I feel like my mouth is slowly drying up due to the dryness of this 'apple'


31 Mar 2014 
great apple 10/10 0.48 per kg at paknsave wanganui go grab a bargin


13 Sep 2013 
My favorite apple. So sweet, crisp and juicy. Love these.


15 Jan 2013 
Brent - A sweet and tasty apple with a relatively soft flesh. lacked the crispness of some other varieties


05 Oct 2012 
my favorite apple of all. better than all the others...except the infamous pear-apple. ;)


31 Jan 2012 
Gala is my absolute FAVORITE apple!!!


23 Jan 2012 
I little soft and bland for my tastes


02 Nov 2009 
I buy the organic apples. Gala is my favourate because it has a nice crispiness to it along with good flavour. It is not too sweet. It seems to hold its flavour well.


20 Jul 2008 
Hi I want to introduce galla variety in an area which is located at about 7000Ft altitude ,The requirement of the variety is early ripening. Will galla variety be useful for this area With Regards ARW


25 Oct 2007 
I have a friend with a rare skin complaint. The doctor says the only variety of apple she may eat is a Golden delicious. These seem impossible to obtain in Otago. Where can I get some ???



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One of the most widely-grown apple varieties, with a sweet pleasant flavour, and good keeping qualities.

Gala phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Golden Delicious and Kidd's Orange Red
  • Originates from: New Zealand
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1085
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession number: 1976-144

Identification

  • Flesh colour: White
  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Fruit size: Small
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Bultitude apple group: 6. Red flushed, smooth, sweet

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Juice
  • Flavour quality: Average
  • Harvest period: Mid season
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more Flavour fades in storage but remains sweet

Growing

  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average growth
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Attractive features: Attractive blossom
  • General disease resistance: Poor Very susceptible to scab
  • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949

Climate

  • Chilling: Low-chill
  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates Prefers drier conditions
  • Climate suitability: Warm climates
  • Blossom frost-resistance: Good resistance

Other qualities

  • Awards: RHS AGM 1993

Disease resistance

  • Canker  - Some susceptibility
  • Mildew  - Some susceptibility
  • Fireblight  - Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some susceptibility
  • Scab  - Very susceptible

Pests

  • Woolly aphid  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Offspring of this variety:

Sports (natural genetic mutations) of this variety:

References and further reading about this variety

  • Cedar-Apple Rust  
    Author: Stephen Vann, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture (FSA7538)
    Rated as highly susceptible - control always needed where CAR is prevalent.

Gala identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Gala identification photos from website visitors


Galaxy Gala
Galaxy Gala

Gala
Gala

A tree-ripened Gala apple, note the shape, reminiscent of Golden Delicious
A tree-ripened Gala apple, note the shape, reminiscent of Golden Delicious


Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Gala trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United States

United Kingdom

France

Hungary

Canada

Australia

New Zealand

India

Poland



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2013 season

  • 27th May  2013  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
  • 22nd May  2013  - tree owned by Jim in AUSTIN, United States
  • 21st May  2013  - tree owned by David in EWERBY THORPE, SLEAFORD, United Kingdom
  • 7th May  2013  - tree owned by Albany in CASTLETON, United States
  • May  2013  - tree owned by Keith in RYE, United States
  • 21st March  2013  - tree owned by Don in CORONA, United States

2012 season

  • 24th May  2012  - tree owned by Robert in AYR, United Kingdom
  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in ESTACADA, United States
  • 11th April  2012  - tree owned by Arwadoo in SRINAGAR, India
  • April  2012  - tree owned by Ray in MIDDLETOWN, United States

2011 season

  • 24th April  2011  - tree owned by David in EWERBY THORPE, SLEAFORD, United Kingdom
  • 22nd April  2011  - tree owned by Robert in AYR, United Kingdom
  • 12th April  2011  - tree owned by Arwadoo in SRINAGAR, India
  • 29th March  2011  - tree owned by wrussellayres@Yahoo.Com in FORT VALLEY, United States

2010 season

  • 4th May  2010  - tree owned by Stuart in Newbury, United Kingdom
  • 29th April  2010  - tree owned by Elizabeth in EVESHAM, United Kingdom
  • 14th April  2010  - tree owned by wrussellayres@Yahoo.Com in FORT VALLEY, United States
  • 28th March  2010  - tree owned by Arwadoo in SRINAGAR, India

2009 season

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2013 season

  • 2nd week October  2013  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
  • 3rd week March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in NELSON, New Zealand

2012 season

  • September  2012  - tree owned by Phil in WINNECONNE, United States
  • 4th week August  2012  - tree owned by Lloyd in BEAVERTON, United States

2011 season

2010 season

  • 2nd week October  2010  - tree owned by R. in GREENBANK, United States
  • 2nd week August  2010  - tree owned by wrussellayres@Yahoo.Com in FORT VALLEY, United States

2009 season

Where to buy apple trees

The following fruit tree nurseries offer Gala apple trees for sale:

Where to buy apples

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