The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Norfolk and Suffolk Counties, Massachusetts (Peragallo, 1989)"
WhA-Whitman fine sandy loam, 0 to 5 percent slopes, extremely stony. This is a very deep, nearly level and gently sloping, very poorly drained soil along drainageways, in depressions, and in low areas on uplands. Areas of the soil are long and narrow or irregular in shape and range from 5 to 40 acres. Slopes range from 0 to 5 percent. Stones and boulders that are 10 inches to 10 feet in diameter cover 1 to 15 percent of the surface.
Typically, the surface layer is black fine sandy loam about 9 inches thick. The subsoil is mottled, grayish brown gravelly fine sandy loam about 13 inches thick. The substratum extends to a depth of 60 inches or more. It is firm, grayish brown gravelly sandy loam.
Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of extremely stony Ridgebury soils and extremely stony Woodbridge soils on low knolls and Birdsall soils along drainageways that extend onto glacial outwash plains and terraces. Also included are areas that have slopes of 5 to 8 percent and areas where stones cover less than 1 percent of the surface. Included areas make up about 15 percent of the map unit.
Permeability: Moderate or moderately rapid in the surface layer and the subsoil and slow or very slow in the substratum.
Available water capacity: Moderate.
Soil reaction: Strongly acid or moderately acid throughout.
Depth to bedrock: More than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: 1.0 foot above to 0.5 foot below the surface.
Hydrologic group: D.Most areas of this soil are woodland.
This soil is poorly suited to cultivated crops and pasture because of ponding, the seasonal high water table, and stones on the surface.
Potential productivity for eastern white pine on this soil is high. Management concerns are ponding, high seedling mortality, the hazard of windthrow, large stones and boulders on the surface, and plant competition. The large stones and boulders on the surface generally limit the use of harvesting and planting equipment. Hand-planting of trees is needed in some areas. Thinning crowded stands to accepted, standard stocking levels allows more vigorous growth. In thinning operations it is important to remove diseased, poorly formed, and otherwise undesirable trees. Shelterwood cutting, seed-tree cutting, and clearcutting can be used to establish natural regeneration or to provide suitable planting sites. Removing or controlling competing vegetation is needed for best growth of newly established seedlings.
This soil is generally not suitable for building site development because of ponding. It is also not suitable for septic tank absorption fields because of ponding and because permeability of the soil restricts it from readily absorbing the effluent. Soils that are better suited to these uses are generally nearby. Constructing roads on raised. coarse textured fill material and providing adequate side ditches and culverts help to protect the pavement from damage by ponding and potential frost action. The large stones generally limit road construction.
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