Chesuncook -- Maine State Soil

Photograph of a forested mountain landscape in Maine. A lake is in the center part of the photograph
    and coniferous and deciduous forest on the mountain sides.

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

Chesuncook Soil Profile

Surface layer: black, friable highly decomposed plant material
Subsurface layer: pinkish gray, very friable silt loam
Subsoil - upper: dark reddish brown, very friable silt loam
Subsoil - upper middle: reddish brown, very friable silt loam
Subsoil - lower middle: dark yellowish brown, very friable silt loam
Subsoil - lower: light olive brown, mottled, friable gravelly loam
Substratum: light olive brown, mottled, very firm gravelly loam
The Chesuncook soil series is a classic Spodosol that typifies the northern temperate and cool forested regions of Maine. It consists of very deep, moderately well drained soils on till plains, hills, ridges, and mountains.

Chesuncook soils produce wood fiber used in paper production, saw logs for lumber, and timber for wood products, such as furniture. These soils have a high woodland productivity rating. The most common tree species are red spruce, balsam fir, yellow birch, American beech, sugar maple, white ash, and red maple.

These soils are considered prime farmland where slopes are less than 8 percent and where surface stones have been removed. Small areas are used for potatoes, oats, barley, hayland, pasture, or low-density urban development. It is estimated that Chesuncook soils occur on more than 150,000 acres in Maine. The soils are named after Chesuncook Lake, in northern Maine.

On April 16, 1999, Governor Angus S. King, Jr., signed Legislative Document 592 into law, making Chesuncook Maine’s Official State Soil.

Small scale map of Maine showing distribution of Chesuncook soil series.

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