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

PaC-Paxton fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes. This is a very deep, sloping, well drained soil on the sides of upland hills. The soil is in oval and irregularly shaped areas that range from 6 to 30 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 areas of Charlton and Montauk soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Paxton soil. Also included are areas of Woodbridge soils along drainageways and on benches on the sides of hills. Also inciuded 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.

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

This soil is well suited to cultivated crops, hay, and pasture and to use as orchards. Farming on the contour, stripcropping, diversions, cover crops, and grasses and legumes in the cropping system help to reduce runoff and to control erosion. This 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 this soil allows intensive management for either hardwoods or conifers. Plant competition at 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.

The seasonal high water table in winter and spring is a limitation to use of this soil as sites for dwellings with basements and small commercial buildings. Tile drains around foundations help to lower the seasonal high water table. Land shaping is needed in some areas. Designing lots to drain surface water away from buildings also helps to prevent the damage to the interior by the seasonal high water table. Slope, the seasonal high water table, and potential frost action are the main limitations for road construction. Constructing roads on the contour, if possible, and planting roadbanks to well adapted grasses help to control erosion. 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 or very slow permeability restricts it from readily absorbing the effluent. Installing a drain field that is larger than average helps to overcome this limitation. Installing the distribution lines across the slope is generally needed for proper operation.

  • This soil is in capability subclass IIIe.
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