This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In a late number of your journal, the above matter was mentioned. Chestnut trees do not grow on limestone soil in this valley - the Buffalo. I have asked some very intelligent persons who have lived here all their lives, and they tell me that they never knew a chestnut tree on the limestone soil. Yet it grows abundantly on gravels and sandstones. But, in Chester County, Pa., they do grow on limestone soil, and I have clearly before my mind several such trees of magnificent proportions, growing right over beds of limestone. Some stand directly over limestone quarries. One, a magnificent young tree, probably thirty-five years old, stands along the Chester Valley Rail Road, between Howellville and New Centreville. The "limestone," of Chester Valley, is however, really a true marble. The limestone of this part of the State is but little metamorphosed. The chestnut grows in great luxuriance on both of the hills bordering Chester Valley. The South Hill is of hydro-mica schist, or "slate," while the North Hill is sandstone. The soil formed by the decomposition of the "slate," is exceedingly thin, while that formed from the sandstone is better, but very liable to dry out in the summer.
Now, a point of interest is, that the chestnut timber on the South Hill, is much the straighter and heavier, better in every way. I have also noticed that the limestone soil of this valley (Buffalo), is peculiarly adapted to the growth of the locust tree. Wherever there is a piece of neglected ground, there a grove of these trees soon springs up. This is not so true of the limestone soil in Chester County.