Sassafras -- Maryland State Soil

Photograph of fields of row crops and small grain on gently rolling terrain.
    Woodland in the background.

Photograph of the profile of a typifying pedon of Sassafras soil series.

Sassafras Soil Profile

Surface layer: dark brown sandy loam
Subsoil - upper: strong brown sandy clay loam
Subsoil - lower: strong brown sandy loam
Substratum: brownish yellow loamy sand
Established in 1901, the Sassafras series was one of the first soil series in the early days of soil survey activities in the U.S. It is one of the oldest soil series in the U.S. It is designated as a Benchmark and Hall of Fame soil series, which is a recognition of its historical significance in the evolution of soil science in the U.S. These soils are mapped on nearly 500,000 acres in Maryland.

The Sassafras series consists of very deep, well drained, moderately permeable soils formed in sandy marine and old alluvial sediments of the Coastal Plain. These soils are categorized as prime farmland, which means that they are among the most productive soils in the state for agriculture and forestry, in addition to being one of the soils best suited to construction, onsite effluent disposal, and recreational development.

Small scale map of Maryland showing distribution of Sassafras soil series.

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