Magnolia, that lovely evergreen tree with the gorgeous white flowers, frequently associated with the South but equally able to thrive in cold winter climates. Small pieces of bark are gathered in spring and summer and made into a tea will reduce fever, act as a stimulant or tonic to your body, and produce sweating to help break a fever. When I moved into the house I’ve occupied for the last 30 years, there was a young magnolia tree (about 10′ tall) next to my garden shed. I loved those pristine white flowers (magnolias do come in colors, too). Over the years, the tree grew larger and the area it was in became a huge compost area. Perfect, I thought, the leaves will put themselves into the compost pile. The tree eventually became so large it was damaging the garden shed so I had it cut down. There was only one thing wrong with my perfect plan for magnolia leaves. They don’t decompose. They turn brown and brittle but don’t disintegrate. It took five years of picking out magnolia leaves to get rid of every one – still in perfect condition. This natural resource should be good for something…house shingles maybe?