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

PbC-Paxton fine sandy loam, 8 to 15 percent slopes, extremely stony. This is a very deep, strongly sloping, well drained soil on tops and sides of upland hills. The soil is in oval or irregularly shaped areas that range from 6 to 100 acres. Stones 10 to 24 inches in diameter cover 1 to 15 percent of the surface.

Typically, the surface layer is very dark brown fine sandy loam about 4 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 these soils in mapping are a few small areas of extremely stony Montauk soils and Charlton soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Paxton soil. Also included are a few small areas of extremely stony Woodbridge soils along drainageways and on benches on sides of hills. Included areas make up about 15 percent of the map unit.

Soil properties:

Permeability: Moderate in the surface layer and the subsoil and slow or very slow in the substratum. Available watercapacity: 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 pastureland or orchards.

This soil is very poorly suited to cultivated crops because of slope and stones on the surface. It is suited to pasture and orchards, but stones on the surface limit the use of conventional farm equipment. It 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. The high productivity of the 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.

Slope and large stones and boulders are the main limitations to use of the soil as building sites. Land shaping is needed and the large stones and boulders hinder excavation operations. Buildings and lots designed to conform to the natural slope of the land help to overcome the slope limitation and control erosion in disturbed areas. Slope and large stones and boulders are the main limitations for road construction. Large amounts of cut and fill are generally needed, and the large stones and boulders generally limit excavation operations.

  • Slope and slow or very slow permeability are the main limitations to use of the soil as sites for septic tank absorption fields. The permeability restricts the soil from readily absorbing the effluent. Installing a distribution system that is larger than average across the slope helps to overcome these limitations. The large stones in the soil generally limit the installation of distribution lines.

    This soil is in capability unit VIIs.

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