The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)"

CbB-Canton fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes, extremely stony. This is a very deep, gently sloping, well drained soil on the sides of upland hills and ridges near plains and terraces. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 6 to 150 acres in size. Stones 10 to 24 inches in diameter cover 1 to 15 percent of the surface. In some map units the stones are in clusters and the rest of these map units do not have stones.

Typically, the surface layer is black fine sandy loam about 1 inch thick. The subsurface layer is dark gray fine sandy loam about 1 inch thick. The subsoil is about 20 inches thick. It is yellowish brown fine sandy loam in the upper part and light yellowish brown fine sandy loam in the lower part. The substratum is gravelly loamy sand to a depth of 60 inches or more. It is light olive gray in the upper part and olive gray in the lower part. Some areas have more gravel throughout.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Charlton, Merrimac, and extremely stony Montauk soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Canton soil. Also included, in low areas and depressions, are areas of extremely stony Scituate soils. Included areas make up about 20 percent of the map unit.

Soil properties:

Permeability: Moderately rapid in the surface layer and the subsoil and rapid in the substratum.
Available water capacity: Low or moderate.
Soil reaction: Very strongly acid to moderately acid throughout.
Depth to bedrock: More than 60 inches.
Depth to the seasonal high water table: More than 6 feet.
Hydrologic group: B.

Most areas of this soil are woodland. Some areas are used as individual homesites. A few areas are used for pasture.

This soil is poorly suited to cultivated crops unless the surface is cleared of stones. The soil is fairly well suited to use as pastureland and as orchards. Stones and boulders, however, limit the use of conventional farm equipment.

Potential productivity for eastern white pine on this soil is high. The soil is easily managed for woodland. If conifers are grown, plant competition at regeneration is moderate. Thinning crowded stands to accepted stocking levels allows more vigorous growth. Shelterwood cutting, seed-tree cutting, and clearcutting help to establish natural regeneration or to provide suitable planting sites. Removing or controlling competing vegetation allows best growth of newly established seedlings. Pruning helps to improve the quality of white pine. Large stones on the surface generally limit the use of harvesting and planting equipment.

There are no major limitations to use of this soil for building site development and for local roads and streets. However, if the soil is used as sites for septic tank absorption fields, ground water pollution is a hazard. Because of rapid permeability, the soil readily absorbs but does not adequately filter the effluent. The large stones in this soil generally hinder excavation operations and the installation of distribution lines for septic tank absorption fields.

  • This soil is in capability subclass VIs.
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