Emerald ash borer

An adult emerald ash borer.

Part of Keene’s Main Street will be closed Wednesday morning as crews remove trees affected by the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest, from the median.

Northbound drivers will be detoured at Eagle Court to Cypress Street, while southbound drivers will be diverted at Gilbo Avenue to School Street. The work is expected to last from 6 a.m. to about noon. Drivers should expect delays and avoid Main Street if possible, the city said in a news release.

The Keene Public Works Department plans to remove 17 ash trees affected by the emerald ash borer, then begin monitoring and treating the other 22 ashes on Main Street, the department said in a Facebook post last week.

The removed trees will be replaced with ones that aren’t susceptible to the insect.

The emerald ash borer first appeared in New Hampshire in 2013 and has since spread to more than 80 municipalities, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. An infestation can kill a tree within several years.

The insect’s appearance in the Monadnock Region has been recent, according to a tracker on NHBugs.com, a project that involves the Extension and several state and federal agencies. After surfacing in Antrim and Rindge in 2019, the emerald ash borer has been found for the first time this year in Greenfield, Keene, Langdon, Nelson, Peterborough, Sullivan and Swanzey.

Paul Cuno-Booth can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1409, or pbooth@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @PCunoBoothKS