Gala apples are known for their pinkish red blush over green skin, their crisp texture, juicy bite and early season harvests. Like most apples, Gala trees cannot self-pollinate and require a partner apple tree in the general vicinity. The partner tree must be a different variety of apple whose bloom time is compatible. For Gala apples, Golden Delicious trees make a good pollinating partner. Gala apple trees should be planted while dormant in the late fall or early spring to reduce winter-related stress on the tree while it acclimates to new surroundings.
Select a planting location for your gala tree where it is in a full sun exposure and is on higher ground. The grade should slope away from the tree to prevent it from being engulfed by a frost pocket and so that cold air can easily flow away from the tree. Plant your apple tree in a weed-free area and at least 4 feet from lawn grass that will compete for moisture and nutrients.
Provide a planting soil that drains well, is nutrient rich and deeply tilled to a depth of 2 feet to allow the roots to spread easily. Amend poor soils with generous amounts of compost and well-aged livestock manure to boost the soil fertility. Refrain from adding fertilizer to the planting hole itself as it can easily burn apple roots.
Excavate a planting hole that is twice the diameter of the root ball and at least as deep as the root ball. Add enough soil back to the hole to bring the top of the root ball level with the surrounding soil. Distribute the tree roots in the hole evenly without straining them.
Fill half of the excavated soil into the hole to cover the roots and press down gently to ensure good soil to root contact. Fill in the hole with the balance of the loosened soil and press down gently to secure the tree in place.
Water the tree in until the planting soil is drenched but there is no standing water at the base of the tree. Maintain evenly moist soil at all times while the tree is acclimating and do not allow the soil to become dry beyond the top inch or so.