Thanks for that post, as I am very much interested in soils.
That is some really unique soil (at least to me) that you have there. (1/2 sand and 1/2 organic ...Wow!) Also a very interesting and genuine concern you have there. Even the little that I know, I can easily see your concern with root development. Almost seems like some sort of an odd \"catch 22\". I'd say that its nearly a \"lock\" that you'll get some teriffic foliate plants, and I wish you all the best in root development. Like you say, Autumn 2012 will give you some insight form your 2 year olds as to how the rooting is likely to go. ... Man, I sure hope they fork off, or at the very least bend some.
In the mountain areas where I hunt 'presumedly wild', The nearest I have found to what you describe there would be a soil classified as \"Craigsville Gravely Loam\". That soil gets quite \"sandy\". I usually find that soil in an area where a small trib hits the main stem stream. Of course the silt is almost all sand, but once above the flood plain, it is some pretty nice stuff. I hunt several of these spots that are quite remote, and where the soil is conducive to 'seng, I find some pretty nice stands. ... For security's sake, when I start walking into one of those areas, I am carrying a flyrod, and my small digging tools are in my fishing vest ...
In the persuit of soils, during the early Spring of 2012, I hope to get over into some WV areas where there are outcroppings of limestone. Also, and I didn't know it at the time, (many years ago ... lol) the Wheeling, WV area, where I grew up, had some nice soils. Me and my high school hunting/trapping buddy found quite a good bit of 'seng and 'seal in those days. (1961 -1964).
The soil in my above pic is a dark grayish clay right under about an inch or so of humus. That clay goes down 4\" - 5\", and then it starts to yellow. At 6\" - 7\", it is mostly yellow. It is classified as Gilpen-Dekalb, but fortunately, a small area wherein that bed is located, is remarkedly free of surface and imediate sub-surface rocks. It does hold moisture nicely, and yet drains well; as noted in some random \"perc\" testing.