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

Ra-Raynham silt loam. This is a very deep, nearly level. poorly drained soil in low areas of glacial lakebeds and outwash plains. Areas of the soil are oval and irregular in shape and range from 6 to 30 acres. Slopes range from 0 to 3 percent.

Typically, the surface layer is black silt loam about 8 inches thick. In the upper part the subsoil is grayish brown silt loam about 5 inches thick. In the lower part it is mottled, light olive gray silt loam about 19 inches thick. The substratum is mottled, light olive gray very fine sandy loam to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Birdsall soils in depressions. Also included are small areas of Walpole soils in positions on the landscape similar to those of the Raynham soil. Also included are a few small areas of soils that have a dense, very slowly permeable substratum. Included areas make up about 25 percent of the map unit.

  • Soil properties:
  • Permeability: Moderately slow.

    Available water capacity: High

    Soil reaction: Strongly acid or moderately acid throughout.

    Depth to bedrock: More than 60 inches.

    Depth to the seasonal water table:0.5 foot to 2.0 feet.

    Hydrologic group: C.

    Most areas of this soil are woodland. Some areas are open and idle. A few small areas are cropland.

    This soil is fairly suited to cultivated crops if drainage systems remove excess water. In undrained areas it is better suited to midsummer and late summer pasture. Mixing crop residue and manure into the plow layer improves the tilth and increases the organic matter content.

    Potential productivity for red maple on this soil is moderate. The main management concerns are the seasonal high water table, high seedling mortality, and the hazard of windthrow. Low soil strength limits the use of equipment to periods when the soil is dry or frozen. Thinning the stands helps to minimize windthrow if residual stand density is at or slightly above standard stocking levels and if changes in stand density are limited to 30 percent or less.

    Constructing buildings without basements, above the seasonal high water table, helps to prevent damage to the interior by the seasonal high water table. Tile drains around foundations and the use of sump pumps in basements help to lower the seasonal high water table. Landscaping designed to drain surface water away from buildings also helps to prevent damage to the interior by the seasonal high water table. Constructing roads on raised, coarse textured base material and providing adequate side ditches and culverts help to protect the roads from damage by the seasonal high water table and potential frost action. The seasonal high water table and permeability are the main limitations of the soil to use as sites for septic tank absorption fields. Placing distribution lines in a mound of more suitable fill material helps to overcome these limitations.

  • This soil is in capability subclass IVw.
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