There are a lot of stones on my property of the kind shown in the picture. They are hard and heavy, but extremely brittle. The pictures shows half of a stone that I dropped from about 2' high on another stone and it broke cleanly in half. What species of stone is it and could it be used in a 3'-high retaining wall?

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1 Answer 1


When you say brittle is it flaky?

It looks like shale if you hit it or drop it on a hard surface it breaks up that would be shale, I have used it because my grampa had a hill that was shale and we used pry bars to break chunks out it works good for walls because it breaks and you can chip high spots off so they fit better if you don’t get parallel top and bottoms most of ours was like layers but different thickness. But it made a nice wall over a couple of summers (I think grampa was just keeping me and my brother busy.

  • Has has the wall held up over the years?
    – Wynne
    Dec 1, 2020 at 22:25
  • 2
    The wall was there for over 30 years but when grandma sold the farm the developer took that 1/2 mile of stone out, it kept the cows in better than wire for at least 20 years and it was still in good shape and looked really cool in the wet months it grew moss that was bright green when wet but turned brown, since then I found if you like moss on rock and cement walls get some moss and put it in a blender with milk then purée it and put it on the wall (not summer but not raining) it takes off and grows really well a land scape guy I used showed me that trick it took 10-15 on the wall naturally.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 1, 2020 at 22:37
  • You say “if you hit it or drop it on a hard surface it breaks up that would be shale”. What kind of stone does not break when hit or dropped?
    – Lee Sam
    Dec 2, 2020 at 0:33
  • Also, it's not "flaky". It feels more "sandy".
    – Wynne
    Dec 2, 2020 at 12:57
  • It may be a type of sand stone in my area the sand stone is much lighter in color from a dark tan to almost white.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:35

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