FABI tree health researchers have recently been requested to inspect relatively large numbers of milkwood (Sideroxylon inerme) trees that have been dying in the Hermanus area of the Western Cape.  The problem was reported to the FABI team by the well-known tree surgeon Mr Leon Visser who requested a site visit to the affected area. A tree health survey during May enabled the team, including Prof. Mike Wingfield, Prof. Brenda Wingfield, Prof. Francois Roets (Stellenbosch University) and Dr Trudy Paap, together with ecologist Dr Casper Crous to join Leon to inspect the trees.  These trees had symptoms of various stages of decline with many having already died.  Roots and above ground parts of the trees were inspected and samples were collected for further study. Although opportunistic pathogens may be involved in the problem, the group was generally of the opinion that an environmental factor is likely to be the initial cause.