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

Fm-Freetown muck. This is a very deep, nearly level, very poorly drained, organic soil in depressions and along streams and rivers. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 6 to 500 acres.

Typically, the surface layer is black muck about 13 inches thick. The subsurface layer is dark brown and black muck about 16 inches thick. The bottom layer is black muck to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are a few small areas of Scarboro and Swansea soils near the edges of the unit. Also included are a few ponded areas. Included areas make up about 15 percent of this map unit.

Soil properties:

Permeability: Moderate or moderately rapid.
Available water capacity: Very high.
Soil reaction:
Extremely acid.
Depth to bedrock:
More than 60 inches.
Depth to the seasonal high water table:
0 to 1 foot below the surface.
Hydrologic group:

Most areas of this soil are woodland or wetland shrubs and grasses and provide excellent habitat for wetland wildlife. In the southeastern part of the county a few areas are used for cranberry production.

This soil is poorly suited to conventional farming because of the seasonal high water table. If a suitable outlet is available, the soil can be drained and used for cranberry production.

Potential productivity for red maple on this soil is moderate. Management concerns are excess soil moisture, high seedling mortality, and the hazard of windthrow (fig. 6). Low soil strength limits the use of equipment to periods when the soil is very dry or frozen. Thinning the stands helps to minimize windthrow if residual stand density is at or slightly above standard stocking levels and if changes in stand density are limited to 30 percent or less. Some areas are suitable for hand-planting trees.

This soil is generally not suitable for use as sites for both buildings and septic tank absorption fields because of the seasonal high water table and low strength. Soils that are better suited to these uses are generally nearby. Constructing roads on raised, coarse textured fill material and providing adequate side ditches and culverts help to prevent the damage to pavement by the seasonal high water table, potential frost action, and low strength.

  • This soil is in capability subclass Vw.
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