Established Series
Rev. WDC


The Brandywine series consists of very deep somewhat excessively drained or excessively drained, moderately rapidly permeable soils on uplands. They formed in material weathered from gneiss. Slopes range from 0 to 65 percent. Mean annual temperature is 53 degrees F. and mean annual precipitation is about 40 inches.

TAXONOMIC CLASS: Sandy-skeletal, mixed, mesic Typic Dystrudepts

TYPICAL PEDON: Brandywine loam - on a 8 to 15 percent slope in a pasture. (Colors are for moist soil unless otherwise stated.)

Ap--0 to 8 inches, dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2)gravelly loam; weak fine granular structure; very friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; many roots; 15 percent gneiss and quartzite fragments 2 to 4 mm.
in diameter; medium acid (limed); abrupt smooth boundary. (8 to 10 inches thick)

Bw--8 to 12 inches, strong brown (7.5YR 5/6) very gravelly loam; weak fine granular and very weak fine subangular blocky structure; friable, nonsticky, nonplastic; common roots; some very weak indistinct, brown coatings; 45 percent coarse fragments; strongly acid; clear irregular boundary. (4 to 20 inches thick)

BC--12 to 25 inches, brownish yellow (10YR 6/6) very gravelly coarse sand; single grain; loose; roots; in upper 6 inches; some inclusions of material similar to the B2 horizon; 60 percent coarse fragments; many mica flakes; very strongly acid; abrupt wavy boundary. (0 to 14 inches thick)

C--25 to65inches, mixed white (10YR 8/2) and olive brown (2/5Y 4/4)very gravelly coarse sand; loose; single grained; 50 percent coarse fragments of disintegrated coarse-grained gneiss, 2 to 5 mm in diameter; very strongly acid.

TYPE LOCATION: Howard County, Maryland; about 150 feet north of U.S. Highway No. 40, at Chatham Road.

RANGE IN CHARACTERISTICS: The thickness of the solum ranges from 12 to 30 inches. Depth to hard bedrock is 5 to 10 feet. Gneiss and vein quartzite coarse fragments, mostly gravel size range from 0 to 15 percent in the surface, 5 to 50 percent in the subsoil and 40 to 90 percent in the C horizon. Cobble size stones range from 0 to 15 percent in the solum andfrom0 to 50 percent in the C horizon. Rock fragment content is greater than 35 percent in the particle size control section. Stones occupy .1 to 3 percent of the surface in some pedons. The soil is strongly acid to extremely acid, unless limed.

The A horizon has hue of 7.5YR or 10YR, value of 3 through 5, and chroma of 1 through 4. Value of 3 is confined to undisturbed A horizons less than 3 inches thick. It is loam, gravelly loam or cobbly loam.

The Bw horizon has hue of 7.5YR or 10YR, value of 5 or 6, and chroma of 4 or 6. Texture is sandy loam, loam, gravelly loam or cobbly loam. The BC or B/C horizon has similar colors. Texture ranges from coarse sand to loamy sand in the fine earth fraction.

The C horizon has hue of 7.5YR through 5Y, value of 4 through 8, and chroma of 2 through 8 and commonly are variegated. Low chromas are inherent and not due to wetness. Texture ranges from coarse sand to loamy sand in the fine earth fraction.

COMPETING SERIES: The Gloucester and Hoosic series are members of the same family. Gloucester soils have stones or boulders throughout and have erratics. The Hoosic soils have water-sorted gravel throughout the control section and are stratified in the lower part of the series control section.

The Alton, Berks, Bremo, Calvin, Cardiff, Chenango, Coeburn, Dekalb, Elliber, Lehew, Manlius, Mt. Airy, Occoquan, Oqsuaga, Parker, Steinsburg, Stumptown, Teas and Tunkhannock series are similar soils in related families. All of these series have textures averaging finer than loamy fine sand within the particle-size control section.

GEOGRAPHIC SETTING: Brandywine soils are nearly level to steep soils on side slopes and elevated ridges in northern portions of the Piedmont Plateau. Slopes range from 0 to 65 percent and are generally more than 15 percent. The soils formed in residuum from gneiss and related Cambrian and Precambrian rocks. The climate is temperate and humid, with a mean annual temperature of 45 to 55 degrees F., and mean annual precipitation of about 40 inches.

GEOGRAPHICALLY ASSOCIATED SOILS: These include the competing Cardiff and Mt. Airy series and the Chester, Edgemont, Elioak, Glenelg, Hazel, and Manor soils. Chester, Edgemont, Elioak and Glenelg soils have argillic horizons. Hazel and Manor soils have less than 35 percent coarse fragments in their particle-size control sections.

DRAINAGE AND PERMEABILITY: Somewhat excessively drained to excessively drained on steeper slopes. Runoff is medium. Permeability is moderately rapid or rapid.

USE AND VEGETATION: Used for growing crops and pasture but large areas are idle or in nonfarm uses. Native vegetation is dominated by black oak, yellow poplar, and dogwood, with Virginia pine and shortleaf pine.

DISTRIBUTION AND EXTENT: Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The series is of moderate extent.


SERIES ESTABLISHED: Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 1941.

REMARKS: Diagnostic horizons and features recognized in this pedon are:

a. Ochric epipedon - the zone from the surface of the soil to a depth of approximately 8 inches (Ap horizon.)

b. Cambic horizon - the zone from approximately 8 to 12 inches (Bw horizon). Dystrochrepts feature - strongly acid to very strongly acid reaction in the zone from approximately 10 to 30 inches.

National Cooperative Soil Survey