Soil Survey of Bristol County, Massachusetts


The following Map Unit Description is from the 1981 Soil Survey of Bristol County, Southern Part. Please note: map unit symbols are DIFFERENT for Bristol South and Bristol North reports, do NOT use these descriptions for Bristol North.

PoA-Pipestone loamy sand, 0 to 3 percent slopes.

This soil is nearly level, deep, and somewhat poorly drained. It is in low lying areas that are mainly near or adjacent to streams and other waterways. Areas of this soil are irregular in shape and range from about 5 to 30 acres. Most are about 10 acres.

Typically, organic material about 3 inches thick covers the surface layer. The surface layer is black loamy sand about 3 inches thick. The subsurface layer is gray loamy sand 1 inch thick. The subsoil is 20 inches thick. The upper 4 inches of the subsoil is dark reddish brown, mottled sand; the lower 16 inches is brown, mottled loamy sand. The substratum is light brownish gray sand to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Deerfield, Scarboro, and Wareham soils and areas where the surface layer is fine sandy loam. Also included are areas where the upper part of the subsoil is extremely firm and areas that have more gravel in the subsoil and substratum than does this Pipestone soil. Included areas make up 15 percent of this unit.

The permeability of this Pipestone soil is rapid in the surface layer and subsoil and very rapid in the substratum. Available water capacity is low. The rooting zone of plants is restricted by a seasonal high water table that is at or near the surface in winter and spring. These soils are droughty in late summer.

Most areas of this soil are in woodland. A few areas are farmed.

The soil is suited to row crops. The main limitation is the seasonal high water table. Open ditches or tile drains, or a combination of the two, help to drain the soil. Minimum tillage, using cover crops, and incorporating crop residue and manure into the surface soil improve tilth and maintain the organic matter content.

The soil is suited to hay and pasture, especially to water-tolerant plants. Drainage is generally needed. The main pasture management concerns are the prevention of both overgrazing and grazing when the soil is wet, which reduce the hardiness and density of plants. Using proper stocking rates and restricted grazing during wet periods help to maintain plant hardiness and density.

The soil is suited to trees, but droughtiness causes a high rate of seedling mortality. Reducing plant competition and planting drought-resistant tree species help to reduce the rate of seedling mortality.

The seasonal high water table is the main limitation of the soil for community development, especially as a building site or as a site for septic tank absorption fields or sanitary landfills. The rapid permeability of the soil causes a hazard of ground-water pollution in areas used for septic tanks or landfills.

Capability subclass: IVw.

More Info on Pipestone soils

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