Iconic tree ferns Alsophila (Cyathea) dregii have been observed dying in southern Cape forests for some years.  These plants appear to die very rapidly and areas of occurrence such as those in the Knysna forests have collapsed dramatically.  Former FABI doctoral student Dr Joey Hulbert undertook some preliminary research on this problem. This was followed- up by a FABI survey of these trees in 2021 by Prof. Mike Wingfield together with Prof. Francois Roets (Stellenbosch University) and Prof. Wijnand Swart (University of the Free State). Those surveys failed to identify the cause of this problem.  This prompted a recent inspection of the trees by a FABI research team including Prof. Mike Wingfield, Prof. Francois Roets, Prof. Brenda Wingfield, and Dr Trudy Paap who were joined by Dr Rudi Swart (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) who is undertaking ecological research in the Knysna forests.  The team noted that areas where tree ferns were minimally affected in 2021 have now died, with some areas having almost no living plants.  A relatively intensive sampling was made of these trees and it is hoped that laboratory research will lead to a better understanding of this dramatic and worrying problem.