The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)" for more information contact the USDA-NRCS or

PaB-Paxton fine sandy loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes. This is a deep, gently sloping, well drained soil on the top of upland hills. The soil is in oval-shaped areas that range from 6 to 100 acres. Slopes are smooth and slightly convex.

Typically, the surface layer is very dark brown fine sandy loam about 5 inches thick. The subsoil is about 24 inches thick. It is yellowish brown fine sandy loam in the upper part and brownish yellow gravelly fine sandy loam in the lower part. The substratum is extremely firm and brittle, grayish brown gravelly sandy loam to a depth of 60 inches or more. In some areas the soil has a redder hue throughout.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Montauk soils where slopes are irregular. Also included are small areas of Charlton soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Paxton soils. Also included are small areas of Woodbridge and Ridgebury soils in lower areas and in depressions. Also included are areas where stones 10 to 24 inches in diameter cover 1 to 15 percent of the surface. Included soils make up about 15 percent of this map unit.

Soil properties:

Permeability: Moderate in the surface layer and the subsoil and slow or very slow in the substratum. Available water capacity: Moderate.

Soil reaction: Very strongly acid to moderately acid throughout.

Depth to bedrock: More than 60 inches.

Depth to the seasonal high water table: 1.5 to 2.5 feet.

Hydrologic group: C.

Some areas of this soil are woodland. Some areas are used as individual homesites. A few areas are used as cropland and pastureland.

This soil is very well suited to cultivated crops, hay, and pasture and to use as orchards. Farming on the contour, stripcropping, cover crops, and grasses and legumes in the cropping system help to reduce runoff and to control erosion. Crop production is generally the best use of the soil. The soil is on hills where air drainage is good and where fruit crops are protected from frost.

Potential productivity for northern red oak on this soil is moderate. The soil is easily managed for woodland use. The high productivity of the soil justifies intensive management for either hardwoods or conifers. Plant competition at the time of regeneration is moderate if conifers are grown. Thinning crowded stands to accepted standard 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.

Constructing buildings with the lower or basement level above the seasonal high water table helps to prevent the damage to the interior by the seasonal high water table. Constructing roads on well compacted, coarse textured base material and providing adequate side ditches and culverts help to prevent damage to the pavement by the seasonal high water table and potential frost action.

If the soil is used as sites for septic tank absorption fields, slow or very slow permeability restricts it from readily absorbing the effluent. Installing a drain field larger than average helps to overcome this limitation. Where suitable outlets are available, curtain drains around the absorption field help to lower the seasonal high water table.

  • This soil is in capability subclass IIe.
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