During 2020, FABI initiated a research project focused on the fungi associated with bark beetles infesting, especially the Clanwilliam Cedar Widdringtonia (cedarbergensis) wallichii.  This work stemmed from earlier research by FABI Founding Director Prof. Mike Wingfield during the 1980s, to consider the possible role of insects and fungal pathogens on the demise of these iconic trees.  The project is being led by Prof. Mike Wingfield, Prof. Brenda Wingfield and Prof. Francois Roets (Stellenbosch University) and supported by MSc student Mr Handré Basson.  During May 2021, the team undertook a survey of beetles infesting Widdringtonia nodiflora, a species substantially more widespread than W. wallichii.  Beetles infesting these trees were found and collected for further laboratory work. This will make possible a comparison of the beetles and their fungal associates on the two tree species and provide further insight into their role in tree decline.  The team also noted a relatively common and previously unreported root disease problem on these trees.  Future research will include determining the cause of this problem and consider how it might relate to the decline of the Clanwilliam cedar.