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

MsB-Montauk fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes, extremely stony. This is a very deep, gently sloping, well drained soil on the tops of hills on uplands. Areas of the soil are oval or irregular in shape and range from 6 to 80 acres. Stones and boulders 10 to 36 inches in diameter cover 1 to 15 percent of the surface.

Typically, the surface layer is very dark grayish brown fine sandy loam about 4 inches thick. The subsoil is about 25 inches thick. It is dark yellowish brown fine sandy loam in the upper part and yellowish brown and light olive brown fine sandy loam and sandy loam in the lower part. The substratum is firm, olive loamy sand to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of extremely stony Canton soils and extremely stony Paxton soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Montauk soil. Also included, in low areas, are extremely stony Scituate soils. Included areas make up about 15 percent of this map unit.

Soil properties:

Permeability: Moderate or moderately rapid in the surface layer and the subsoil and moderately slow or slow 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:
2 to 2.5 feet.
Hydrologic group:

Most areas of this soil are woodland. Some areas are cropland or pasture. Some areas are used as individual homesites.

Unless the stones on the surface are removed, this soil is poorly suited to cultivated crops. The soil is suited to pasture and to use as orchards, but stones on the surface make it difficult to operate conventional farming equipment.

Potential productivity for northern red oak on this soil is moderately high. Management concerns are large stones and boulders on the surface and plant competition. The large surface stones and boulders generally limit the use of harvesting and planting equipment. In some areas hand-planting of trees is needed. 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, 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.

The seasonal high water table in winter and spring is a limitation to use of these soils as sites for dwellings with basements and small commercial buildings. Tile drains around foundations help to lower the seasonal high water table. Constructing roads on well compacted, coarse textured base material and providing adequate side ditches and culverts help to prevent the damage to pavement by the seasonal high water table and potential frost action. If the soil is used as sites for septic tank absorption fields, slow permeability restricts it from readily absorbing the effluent. Installing a drain field that is larger than average helps to overcome this limitation. Some map units have included soils that have suitable permeability.

  • This soil is in capability subclass VIs.
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