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Pawl 09-09-2011 08:08 AM

tree roots raising block wall/loosening mortar
tree roots raising block wall and loosening mortar
I thought I would start over and get all the information included.I am in sunny southern california. Orange County near Disneyland.I am talking about block walls that seperate outdoor backyards.My neighbor has some plants/trees he is going to take out now that I showed him what his roots are doing.These are skinny trees with maybe 1" roots all over the place. My walls have 8" wide pilasters with 4" wide blocks crossing a 15' span between pilasters. The roots have raised the wall 1". The roots have worked their way between the 7th course and 8th course if you are counting from the top to the bottom.The 7th and 8th course are actually filled with dirt for the plantars when everything is buttoned up.As you can imagine we have original loose mortar still is place but the gaps have widened.I am starting to see into his backyard through the gaps between some of the blocks in different rows. And the 7th course is moving it's way into my yard slowly from the force of so many roots growing and pushing in my direction. Meaning the 7th row is no longer sitting exactly on top of the 8th row.I am thinking there is no quick fix here. If someone says I have to take the wall apart and reset the blocks with wet mortar then will someone tell me an easy way to remove the blocks without breaking them.I imagine I just have to keep the blocks in order,clean off the old mortar and then reset them. The wall was built in 1965 and I dont know if I can even get the same color block anymore.Any ideas? Thanks

kwikfishron 09-09-2011 08:17 AM

199 Attachment(s)
Pawl, posting a picture or two would really help so we can see what you see.

Pawl 09-09-2011 08:23 AM

I will post some pictures. Just waiting for the sun to come out. Thanks for the suggestion. I will hopefully have them on here by 8am PST or sooner. Thanks

kwikfishron 09-09-2011 08:36 AM

199 Attachment(s)
No problem, make sure one of them is standing back showing the entire area.:thumbsup:

Pawl 09-09-2011 03:31 PM

posting pictures
I post pictures on lots of other things on other sites but for some reason it won't allow me to post here. It keeps saying upload failed. I don't think my pics are too big. I will keep trying

kmc 09-09-2011 03:38 PM


Originally Posted by Pawl (Post 724681)
I post pictures on lots of other things on other sites but for some reason it won't allow me to post here. It keeps saying upload failed. I don't think my pics are too big. I will keep trying

go and upload them on and then after they upload, copy the row that says [img]your pic[/img] and paste it in your reply here.

AndyGump 09-09-2011 04:52 PM

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Hi Pawl, looks like your in my neck of the woods, Orange County born & bred.

Here is a (bad) PDF (jpg now) from the city of Orange on block walls, I believe that 4" wide block is no longer accepted as a block wall in California anymore.

This should be acceptable in Anaheim also but that should be checked out.

They may let you fix the wall but 4" block is very difficult to come by around here anymore and you are likely to ruin some block no matter how careful you are in removing them.
Might get luck though, try a using rubber mallet or a two pound dead-blow hammer striking against a 3/4" piece of ply. That will take a while so don't over swing the mallet.


AndyGump 09-09-2011 04:57 PM

Actually, here is a link to the city of Anaheim Building department and a PDF of the block wall and pilaster they accept.


Pawl 09-09-2011 05:28 PM

tree roots works great until I go to paste then I get an error message in the reply box

kwikfishron 09-09-2011 05:41 PM

199 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Pawl (Post 724766) works great until I go to paste then I get an error message in the reply box

You did read this didn't you?

kwikfishron 09-09-2011 05:43 PM

199 Attachment(s)
What file type and size are you trying to post?

Pawl 09-09-2011 05:53 PM

This wall is the one between my next door neighbor and me. The front of our houses face the west. The portion of wall in question is the north wall. So the right side of the wall in question is the pilaster that 4 neighbors share.Meaning if you were looking down from above it would look like a plus sign in addition and subtraction.So you would have 4" block mortared into this pilaster to take care of the 4 backyards.
So in my yard 15' to the left of that pilaster is the other pilaster. Between those pilasters are 9 blocks in each row. 90% of the mortar is still intact on all the joints. But as we all know any movement is going to affect the stability.It is no where close to leaning. But the roots on my neighbors side need to be cut to stop growth and movement immediately. I have seen walls that are much much worse then what I am dealing with.If I was able to dismantle this wall and re mortar it we would be fine. It is taking it apart that will be the problem especially being told here I can't get the 4' block anymore. So we are talking about taking 72 blocks off and putting them back. I have done brick planters before and I am retired so time is not a problem

Pawl 09-09-2011 05:58 PM

I am not sure how to determine file size. But I took my pictures with my Canon digital camera. This is the 1st time I have not been able to post these pictures. I use this camera all the time and post to my friends and such. It just says it failed to upload my photo. And yes
I did read how to post on here.

jomama45 09-09-2011 09:50 PM

You cant copy & paste onto this forum, much less any v-bulletin run forum I've run into.

You need to re-read the post Ron provided and choose the resized picture from your files as an attachment.

Pawl 09-09-2011 10:51 PM

attaching files/pics
If you are talking about the 10 steps that walk me thru posting pics then I got to step 6 and clicked on upload and this is what happens.>>>
9-1-11 lakewood pics 1782.jpg:
Upload of file failed.

I dont get to step 7 and after that I am stuck.

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