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

HfB-Hinckley sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes. This is a very deep, undulating, excessively drained soil in broad areas on glacial outwash plains, terraces, and kames. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 6 to 1 00 acres.

Typically, the surface layer is dark brown sandy loam about 4 inches thick. The subsoil is dark yellowish brown and about 10 inches thick. In the upper part it is gravelly sandy loam and in the lower part it is gravelly loamy sand. The substratum is light olive brown, stratified gravelly and very gravelly coarse sand to a depth of 60 inches or more. In many areas the surface layer and the subsoil are loamy sand. In areas of this soil in the Boston Basin and in Weymouth, the subsoil and the substratum are mostly olive colored and are 50 to 75 percent, by volume, coarse fragments of dark, flat shale and slate.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Merrimac and Windsor soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Hinckley soil. Also included are small areas of Sudbury soils in depressions. Also included are very small areas where the soil is less than 60 inches to bedrock. In some areas slopes are less than 3 percent. Included areas make up about 20 percent of the map unit.

Soil properties:

Permeability: Rapid in the surface layer and the subsoil and very rapid in the substratum.
Available water capacity:
Soil reaction:
Extremely 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: A.

Most areas of this soil are used as individual homesites. Some areas are used as cropland, pastureland, and woodland.

This soil is fairly suited to cultivated crops, pasture, lawns. and landscaping. Because of droughtiness the soil requires irrigation for best plant growth, Minimum tillage, cover crops, and contour farming help to control erosion. In pastureland, the main concern is preventing overgrazing, which reduces the hardiness and density of plants.

Potential productivity for eastern white pine on this soil is high. A management concern is moisture stress caused by the limited available water capacity. Thinning crowded stands to accepted standard stocking levels allows more vigorous growth. In thinning operations it is important to remove diseased, poorly formed, and otherwise undesirable trees. Shelterwood cutting, seedtree 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. Minimizing soil disturbance and retaining the sponge-like mulch of leaves help to absorb precipitation. Designing regeneration cuts to optimize shade and reduce evapotranspiration help to retain the limited soil moisture.

This soil has no major limitations to building site development or for local roads and streets. If the soil is used as sites for septic tank absorption fields, ground water pollution is a hazard. Because of very rapid permeability, the soil readily absorbs but does not adequately filter the effluent. Low density housing development reduces the volume of effluent, thus lessening the pollution hazard.

  • This soil is in capability subclass Ills.
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