1

There's a cinder block fence with my neighbor that is leaning into their property. A tree stump and its roots are the probably causes. The tree roots are probably making the wall lean. The tree stump is about 2 ft in diameter. There is also a crack in the wall.

What's the best way to remedy the situation? If I got rid of the stump and the roots, is there a way to force the wall back to center again?

UPDATE

I've removed the stump and ground it up as much as I can. Now I see that the roots are really close to the wall and go underneath. It's been many months since I ground down the stump. What is the best way to get rid of the rest?

  • I've used an ax...takes forever.
  • I've drilled holes and filled it with epsom salt and water...didn't do that much.
  • The latest technique is using an electric chain saw. Hard to maneuver around the masonry and the dirt ground.

Leaning wall with crack Leaning wall, other view Removed stump, wide shot Removed stump, close up

2

Honestly, this looks like the entire wall is affected by general differential settling and it looks pretty serious judging by the adjacent fencing. If there is ANY chance of the wall falling onto your neighbors - like a child going to get that soccer ball, you will need to demo the wall, grind the stump completely, and compact the soil. A new masonry wall would need to be engineered by a licensed professional, and installed with the engineer's specs for foundation and compaction. In a more remote location, you might grind the stump, and then repoint the masonry joints. This would be a cosmetic fix, but, now that the stump is removed, the roots under the wall should no longer grow, but may even decompose to their original condition bringing the wall more plumb. But if we squash the neighbor's soccer toddler, the higher price of a new engineered wall will seem small. Your neighbor should share in the cost of the fix, too. If not, he shouldn't complain when you put back a simple wood privacy fence. There may be other factors, such as warranty issues from the original builder and homeowners association requirements.

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