The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)"
Sb-Scarboro and Birdsall soils. These are deep, nearly level, very poorly drained soils in low, flat areas and in depressions on glacial outwash plains and terraces. Some areas are mostly Scarboro soils, some are mostly Birdsall soils, and some areas consist of both soils. Areas of these soils are irregular in shape and range from 6 to 50 acres. The Scarboro and Birdsall soils were mapped together because they are similar in use and management. The total acreage of this map unit is about 65 percent Scarboro soils, 15 percent Birdsall soils, and 20 percent other soils. Slopes range from 0 to 3 percent.
Typically, the surface layer of the Scarboro soils is black muck about 9 inches thick. The substratum is gray coarse sand to a depth of 60 inches or more. In some areas the substratum has more gravel or more silt.
Typically, the surface layer of the Birdsall soils is very dark gray very fine sandy loam about 8 inches thick. The subsoil is very fine sandy loam about 8 inches thick. It is light olive gray in the upper part and is gray and has faint mottles in the lower part. The substratum is gray, stratified very fine sand and silt to a depth of 60 inches or more. In some areas the substratum is greenish gray.
Included with this unit in mapping are small areas of Swansea soils in landscape positions similar to those of the Scarboro and Birdsall soils, Also included are small areas of Raynham and Walpole soils in slightly higher, convex positions. Included areas make up about 10 percent of the map unit.
Permeability: Scarboro soils-Rapid or very rapid; Birdsall soils-Moderately slow.Available water capacity: Scarboro soils-Low; Birdsall soils-High.
Soil reaction: Scarboro soils-Very strongly acid to moderately acid throughout; Birdsall soils-Very strongly acid to moderately acid throughout.
Depth to bedrock: Scarboro soils-More than 60 inches; Birdsall soils-More than 60 inches.Depth to the seasonal high water table: Scarboro soils 1 foot above to 1 foot below the surface; Birdsall soils-0 to 1.0 foot.
Hydrologic group: Both Scarboro and Birdsall soils-D.
Most areas of the soils in this unit are woodland. A few areas have been drained and are used for pasture. A few other areas have been filled in and are used as building sites.
These soils are poorly suited to cultivated crops and pasture because of the seasonal high water table and ponding.
Potential productivity for red maple on this soil is moderate. Management concerns are excess soil moisture, high seedling mortality, and the hazard of windthrow. Low soil strength limits the use of equipment to periods when the soils are very 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. Some areas are suitable for hand-planting of trees.
These soils are generally not suitable for use as sites for buildings and for septic tank absorption fields because of the seasonal high water table and ponding. Soils that are better suited to these uses are generally nearby. Constructing roads on raised, coarse textured base material and providing adequate side ditches and culverts help to prevent the damage to the pavement by the seasonal high water table and potential frost action.
The Scarboro and Birdsall soils are in capability subclass Vw.
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