The invention relates to a new and distinct variety of apple tree,
The new variety, denominated ‘Smith Gala,’ was discovered by Joe Smith at his orchard located at 13477 Locust Lane, Nampa, Id. The tree having the mutated branch was found in a cultivated block of Royal Gala® (‘Tenroy cultivar’) apple trees with appropriate pollinators.
Mr. Smith was attracted to the tree by the single limb that had fruit noticeably larger than, but otherwise similar to, the remainder of the tree and neighboring trees. The new variety is up to 15% larger, 40% heavier, and with a more oblate shape (lower L/D ratios) than fruit of the parent Royal Gala®. The new variety has been observed to bloom approximately three days later than its parent Royal Gala® tree, and has a thicker stem than other known ‘Gala’ cultivars. Fruit from the new variety is identical to that of its parent in taste and texture. Asexual reproduction of the ‘Smith Gala’ tree was successfully accomplished in August 1995 when Mr. Smith budded one tree on Malling No. 7 rootstock at his home orchard. In August 1996, 3 trees were budded on Malling No. 26 rootstock in the test orchard of Van Well Nursery, Inc., located at 2821 Grant Road, Wenatchee, Wash., and 46 trees were budded on Malling 26 rootstock in the nursery of Van Well Nursery, Inc., at the same address. The nursery trees were planted in the spring of 1998. The test orchard trees (second generation) bore fruit in 1999 and 2000, and of the 46 nursery trees planted in the spring of 1998 (also second generation), approximately 30 bore fruit in 2000. Fruit of the second generation trees is identical to that of its parent.
The new variety has been compared to the parent tree, Royal Gala®, ‘Tenroy cultivar’. These comparisons are from the second generation trees growing at the orchard of Van Well Nursery, Inc., in Wenatchee, Wash. Physical and internal characteristics of the new variety and the parent are shown in Table 1 for apples picked in September 1999, and in Table 2 for apples picked in September 2000. Average diameter of apples of the new variety is approximately 7% to approximately 15% greater than that of Royal Gala® fruit; the length is slightly less (approximately 1.4% to approximately 7.9% less); and the fruit weight as measured in 2000 was approximately 39% greater. The difference in diameter is equivalent to 3 box sizes (from 100's to 72's) larger for the new variety as compared to Royal Gala® fruit. Samples of vegetative shoots were compared (see
|‘Smith cv.’||‘Tenroy cv.’|
|Starch (1-6 scale)||4.7||3.5|
|‘Smith cv.’||‘Tenroy cv.’|
|Soluble Solids (%)||12.9||13.0|
|Starch (1-6 scale)||3.0||2.5|
The accompanying photographs show the following characteristics of this new variety:
Unless indicated otherwise, information is for a five-year old tree on its sixth leaf, grown in East Wenatchee, Wash., on M-26 rootstock. The tree was planted in 1996.
Parentage: Branch mutation of Royal Gala® ‘Tenroy cultivar’ (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 4,121) discovered at Nampa, Id., in cultivated Royal Gala® block by Joe Smith.
Maturity date: September 5 to 10 at Wenatchee, Wash.
Tree: Semi-dwarf size, between 9 and 10 feet tall and approximately 4 feet wide; High vigor, 70 to 100 cm annual new shoot growth in Wenatchee in 1999; General upright to globe shape; Round-topped; Hardy; Productive, production for trees in their 7th leaf averaged 3 boxes per tree; Regular bearer.
Trunk: Stocky; medium, 8 inches in circumference 1 foot above the ground; smooth when young, becoming rough as tree ages; gray to light brown (7.5 YR 6/2, Munsell Book of Color (hereinafter referred to as “Munsell”)).
Branches: Medium thickness, lower scaffold branch at 4 feet above the ground and 7 inches from the central leader averaged 2.87 inches in circumference; upright to slightly spreading, becoming more spreading with age; gray (5 YR 4/2 Munsell) darkening with age (2.5 YR 3/2 Munsell); oval, sparse, tan lenticels (7.5 YR 8/2 Munsell) of medium size (about 1 mm) average length internodes (25 to 35 mm on 1-year shoots).
Flowers: Similar in appearance to parent ‘Tenroy cv’; first bloom in mid-season on Apr. 18, 2000, full bloom in midseason on Apr. 27, 2000; 9 to 10 days bloom duration; opening flower is light pink (2.5R 7/6 Munsell) with large, showy blooms (55 mm) almost white, retaining a slight pink color at full bloom.
Leaves: Similar to ‘Tenroy cv.’; glossy on upper surface, finely pubescent on lower surface; medium size: average of 25 leaves sampled September 1999: 89 mm (65 to 100 mm) long, 50 mm (45 to 55 mm) wide; medium petiole, average 17 mm (15 to 20 mm), finely pubescent; finely serrate, acute to acuminate tip, acute base shape, 2 stipules averaging 10 mm in length, dark green (upper surface 5 GY 3/6 Munsell; lower surface 5 GY 6/4 Munsell).
Fruit: (average of 10 fruits in 1999): Mid-harvest maturity September 10; pressure average — 17.2 lbs.; soluble solids — 15.2%; starch rating — 4.7; 0.5% malic acid; large, 8.6 cm (box size 72).
Usage: Primarily fresh eating or dessert, identical to ‘Tenroy cv.’