All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

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.

Gala identification images

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

USDA identification images for Gala

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.


    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety



    Sports of this variety

    Sports are natural genetic mutations of the original variety.


    Visitor reviews

    • 20 Sep 2022 
      The Gala is all I eat because it doesn’t give me itchy gums and throat like many other varieties, they are hit or miss at the supermarket though. I can’t stand when I buy a bag of mealy apples, so disappointing . I usually squeeze on them in the store for firmness and that helps but not always accurate. Tonight I bought a bag which were grown in the US and they are delicious, first sweet and crunchy one I’ve had all summer, has those hints of pear flavor which you spoke of. Good tip on when to buy from which side of the hemisphere, thanks
    • 14 Jun 2022 
      lMy apples look fine however they have a stale taste
    • 23 Jul 2020  NSW, United States
      Grown as Thomas bouch hedge sweet crisp apple that spur bears well reliable early bearer
    • 17 Jan 2019  OHIO, United States
      Delicious and healthy, not too sweet. Perfect.
    • 12 Aug 2017  NY, United States
      These apples taste great, but boy are they hard to grow. My little tree starts out great every year, but always looks like it's on the verge of death. I never get more than 5-10 apples.
    • 20 Oct 2015  United States
      Gala are hit or miss in the supermarkets. They were my original "fall-back apple" once the orchards were closed for the winter, but I've since moved on to more reliable varieties like Pink Lady and Jazz. While you can still get decent Gala apples at the store, in the Northeast U.S. I'd say your chances are 50/50.
    • 31 Mar 2014  BERKSHIRE, United Kingdom
      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  NZ, New Zealand
      great apple 10/10 0.48 per kg at paknsave wanganui go grab a bargin
    • 13 Sep 2013  GEORGIA, United States
      My favorite apple. So sweet, crisp and juicy. Love these.
    • 15 Jan 2013  NY, United States
      Brent - A sweet and tasty apple with a relatively soft flesh. lacked the crispness of some other varieties
    • 05 Oct 2012  WA, United States
      my favorite apple of all. better than all the others...except the infamous pear-apple. ;)
    • 31 Jan 2012  MI, United States
      Gala is my absolute FAVORITE apple!!!
    • 23 Jan 2012  United States
      I little soft and bland for my tastes
    • 02 Nov 2009  VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada
      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  Jammu and Kashmir, India
      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  OAMARU, New Zealand
      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 ???

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom

    France

    Hungary

    Ireland

    Netherlands

    Portugal

    Canada

    Australia

    New Zealand

    India

    Poland

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2022 season

    • 5th May  2022  - tree owned by James in Glynn,, Ireland
    • 18th April  2022  - tree owned by Cheuk in Amsterdam, Netherlands
    • 15th April  2022  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2021 season

    • 7th May  2021  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2020 season

    • 22nd April  2020  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2019 season

    • 25th April  2019  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2018 season

    • 7th May  2018  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 1st May  2018  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2017 season

    • 4th May  2017  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • May  2017  - tree owned by Jason in San Diego, United States
    • 12th April  2017  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2016 season

    • 16th May  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 15th May  2016  - tree owned by Jason in San Diego, United States

    2015 season

    • July  2015  - tree owned by Jason in San Diego, United States
    • 9th May  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    2014 season

    • 12th May  2014  - tree owned by Dennis in Great Meadows, United States
    • 29th April  2014  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom

    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 >>.


    Harvest records for this variety

    2021 season

    • 1st week October  2021  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2020 season

    • 3rd week October  2020  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom

    2019 season

    • 4th week September  2019  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • September  2019  - tree owned by Erin in Toledo, United States

    2018 season

    • 1st week October  2018  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week September  2018  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • 2nd week September  2018  - tree owned by Matt in Canterbury, United States

    2017 season

    • 1st week October  2017  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2017  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States

    2016 season

    • 2nd week October  2016  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2016  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • 3rd week August  2016  - tree owned by Kevin in Big Pool, United States

    2015 season

    • 1st week November  2015  - tree owned by Mike in Godalming, United Kingdom
    • November  2015  - tree owned by Jason in San Diego, United States
    • 2nd week October  2015  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 3rd week September  2015  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • September  2015  - tree owned by Roger in Madison Heights, United States

    2014 season

    • 1st week October  2014  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 2nd week September  2014  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States

    2013 season

    • 2nd week October  2013  - tree owned by Bill in Smeeton Westerby, United Kingdom
    • 1st week September  2013  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • 3rd week March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in Nelson, New Zealand

    2012 season

    • 2nd week September  2012  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • September  2012  - tree owned by Phil in Winneconne, United States
    • 4th week August  2012  - tree owned by Lloyd in Beaverton, United States

    2011 season

    • 2nd week September  2011  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • 1st week August  2011  - tree owned by wrussellayres@Yahoo.Com in Fort Valley, United States

    2010 season

    • 2nd week October  2010  - tree owned by R. in Greenbank, United States
    • 2nd week September  2010  - tree owned by Jon in Shaw Island, United States
    • 2nd week August  2010  - tree owned by wrussellayres@Yahoo.Com in Fort Valley, United States

    2009 season


    Origins

    • Species: Malus domestica
    • Parentage: Golden Delicious and Kidd's Orange Red

    Using

    • Picking season: Late
    • Cropping: Good
    • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more Flavour fades in storage but remains sweet
    • Flavor style (apples): Sweeter
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Food uses: Juice Gala produces a very sweet juice
    • Discoloration of fruit: Slightly oxidising (browns slowly)

    Growing

    • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
    • Flowering group: 4
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Bearing regularity: Regular

    Climate

    • Cold hardiness (USDA): (5) -20F / -29C
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Hot (>30C / 86F)
    • Chill requirement: Low-chill 500 hours

    Identification

    • Country of origin: New Zealand
    • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Gala apple trees for sale:


    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Gala:

    United States


    United Kingdom


    Netherlands


    Canada


    Australia


    Switzerland


    India




    References

    • Cedar-Apple Rust  
      Author: Stephen Vann, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture (FSA7538)
      Rated as highly susceptible - control always needed where CAR is prevalent.
    • Apples for the 21st Century
      Author: Manhart
    • Fruit Expert
      Author: Hessayon

    Varieties you viewed



    ©2022 Orange Pippin Ltd. All rights reserved.

    You may not reproduce any of the content of this website without our express permission.
    We do not accept any liability for loss or damage incurred as a result of any errors in the content of this website.