Tampa woman chops chunk of hair during city council meeting in effort to save trees

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Good or bad, a haircut can send a strong statement, which is exactly what happened at Thursday's Tampa City Council meeting when a tree advocate chopped off a chunk of her hair to bring awareness to saving the trees.

Cinzia Duncan's proposal was approved in a 6-to-1 vote by Tampa City Council, changing the way trees are evaluated when it comes to removing them. She wanted to show once you cut a chunk of hair - just like a tree - you can't put it back.

However, she said, regrowing a tree takes much longer.

With scissors in hand, Duncan demonstrated a sliver of what it means to chop down a tree, showing council members the importance of exploring every possible option when it comes to saving a tree at risk of being chopped down.

"Once you cut it, it's gone," Duncan said. "And at first they weren't even all looking at me. And then all the sudden I realized they were and I held it in my hand and said once's it gone, it's gone."

Duncan is a member of Tree Something Say Something, which is an organization formed to help educate city council members, who for the last year have been in the process of re-writing the city's tree code.

As part of the proposal, the builders seeking approval will now be encouraged to consider changing a future's home layout.

Also, the proposal means tree must be less than 15 feet from the home in order to be considered for being chopped down; builders will have more flexibility when it comes to building, allowing them to chop down trees in the middle of structure; and tree pruners must contain a permit to trim trees in order to keep them from destroying the canopy.