The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)"
HfC-Hinckley sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes. This is a very deep, rolling, excessively drained soil on side slopes on glacial stream terraces and kames. Areas of the soil 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 1 0 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 Canton, Merrimac, and Windsor soils in similar landscape positions and Sudbury soils in depressions. 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: Low.
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 woodland. A few areas are used as individual homesites.
This soil is fairly suited to cultivated crops, pasture, lawns. and landscaping. Droughtiness and slope are limitations. Irrigation is needed for best plant growth, but it is difficult to apply because of slope. Crop rotations of mostly hay, and stripcropping help to reduce runoff and to control erosion.
Potential productivity for eastern white pine on this soil is high. A management concern is moisture stress caused by the limited available water capacity of the soil. 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. Sheiterwood 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. Minimizing soil disturbance and retaining the sponge-like mulch of leaves help to absorb precipitation. Designing regeneration cuts to optimize shade and reduce evapotranspiration helps to retain the limited soil moisture.
Buildings designed to conform to the natural slope of the land help to overcome the slope limitation and to control erosion in disturbed areas. Land shaping is needed in some areas. Constructing roads on the contour, if possible, and planting roadbanks to well adapted grasses help to control erosion. If the soil is used as sites for septic tank absorption fields, ground water pollution is a hazard. 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.
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