Building permanent or semi permanent landscaping features is called hardscaping. The retaining wall fits into this category. The purpose of this retaining wall was to improve the appearance of the yard and stop washout from occurring around the roots of the oak tree. We like the tee and want to keep it healthy. The washout was exposing the roots to air which prohibits the tee from absorbing water and nutrients.
The wall is built from 14" x 10" split face cinder blocks. The split face is the texture on the front of the wall. A 2-3 inch footer or concrete pad was poured before the wall was built. Once the pad cured, the blocks were stacked and filled with concrete. Steel rebar (rods sticking up in the air) was used to keep the wall together in the event that the concrete cracks. This is like straw used in an Adobe style mud brick. To finish the wall off, a top cap was poured in place. A form was built.