Summer 2024Pre-orders are now open. Deliveries will begin again in September for pot grown trees and December for bare-rooted or mixed tree orders.
Orange Pippin Trees UK logo

Napoleon Bigarreau cherry trees

Prunus avium
Napoleon Bigarreau is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Picking season: Early early / mid July
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
A traditional white cherry, with an excellent flavour and appearance.

Napoleon Bigarreau cherry trees for sale

Bare-root

  • BR11-year bare-root tree F12/1 rootstock £39.50
    Very large tree (4m-7m after 10 years)
Pre-ordering

You can pre-order now, deliveries start in September.

Delivery charges

Delivery for a single tree starts at £9.95. It is calculated when you add trees to your basket, based on your postcode.

Fruit tree delivery to EuropeEU delivery
This variety is also available for delivery to Europe. Contact us for details.

Napoleon is a well-known traditional large white cherry, and a typical "bigarreau" or firm-fleshed variety. The flavour is sweet/sharp, tangier than most of the modern varieties, and of very good quality.

Also unlike the more modern cherry varieties which are typically dark red or black with dark flesh, Napoleon is usually classified as a white cherry, on account of its pale golden white flesh.

 

 

How to grow

As is often the case with fruit varieties, the ones with the best flavour can be the most difficult to grow. Napoleon's weak point is its susceptibility to infections of bacterial canker. You can minimise the likelihood of this happening by keeping pruning to an absolute minimum, since pruning cuts are an entry point for the disease.

On a more positive note, Napoleon is a prolific bearer, and the tree is generally very hardy. It also flowers later in the spring than most varieties, which helps the blossom escape early frosts.

The cherries ripen over a long period, allowing several pickings to be made - a particularly useful quality in cherries, which are always best when eaten straight from the tree.

Napoleon requires a pollination partner, one of the modern self-fertile varieties such as Stella or Sunburst is a good choice, or traditional varieties such as Bigarreau Gaucher, or Merton Bigarreau.

 

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Despite its name, the Napoleon cherry is not French - it originates from Germany where there is a long history of cherry cultivation.

The Napoleon Bigarreau variety played a key role in the development of the first self-fertile cherry, Stella. As a result a very large number of modern cherries are descended from it.

Napoleon Bigarreau characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group5
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesWarm climates

Using

  • Picking seasonEarly
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-3 days
  • Food usesEating fresh

Identification

  • Country of originGermany
  • Period of origin1750 - 1799
  • Blossom colourWhite
  • Fruit colourYellow / Red