How to Plant a Gala Apple Tree

Overview

Gala apple trees are hardy in zones 8-10. This tree blossoms in mid-spring with light pink to white blossoms, and will reach a mature height of 20 feet. The gala apple tree is not self-pollinating. Therefore, to produce a good crop of apples, you should plant two trees. The second tree can be of the same species, or another species whose bloom time is also in mid-spring. Site selection is extremely important when planting an apple tree. Select a site with full sun, well drained soil, and good air circulation.

Step 1

Dig the hole--it should be twice the size (diameter) of the root ball, and a depth of 2 feet. As you dig, place the soil close to the hole because you will be filling in the hole with the soil that you are removing. Break up any large clumps of dirt with your garden fork.

Step 2

Loosen the soil around the inside perimeter of the hole so that the roots can easily grow into the soil.

Step 3

Remove the tree from the container. If you have a balled and burlapped tree, loosen the burlap halfway down the root ball. You do not have to remove the burlap as it will disintegrate in time. If your tree is wrapped in plastic, completely remove the plastic.

Step 4

Break up the dirt around the root ball (slightly) and spread the roots out. This is if you are planting a tree that came in a container--you will not do this if your tree is balled and burlapped. Generally, balled and burlapped trees are older and larger.

Step 5

Place the apple tree into the hole. Make sure that it is standing straight, and that the bud union (this is where the roots meet the trunk) is approximately 1-2 inches above ground.

Step 6

Add dirt into the hole and press it down. Pack the dirt in around the tree, to remove any air pockets.

Step 7

Build a soil berm approximately 4 inches high around the perimeter of the hole. This will help to retain water.

Step 8

Place mulch within the berm to keep moisture in and weeds down. You can use bark as mulch. One bag should be sufficient. Water the tree thoroughly.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you are unsure of where your electric and gas lines are, be sure to call the electric and gas companies to come out and mark the location before doing any digging.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Garden fork
  • Mulch

References

  • Do It Yourself: Apple Trees: Where and How to Plant
  • About Apple Trees: Planting Apple Trees
  • Gurney's Seed & Nursery Company: Gala Apple Tree
Keywords: gala apple tree plant, dig hole diameter mulch, bud union soil dirt

About this Author

Paula M. Ezop’s inspirational columns "Following the Spiritual Soul" appeared in Oconee Today, a Scripps Howard publication. She has published her first book, "SPIRITUALITY for Mommies." "From Death to Living in the Light" and "Spiritual Intelligence" will be released by Eglomerate.com. Ezop has a BA degree from Northeastern Illinois University and has been writing for 10 years.