The best of all subsoils is a dry bed of clay overlying sandstone.
Tenacious soils and subsoils, with a small supply of water, require beds as narrow as 30 ft.
Where there is complete freedom from stagnant water in the ground, and abundant room for the spread of its branches to light and air, the larch will flourish in a great variety of soils, stiff clays, wet or mossy peat, and moist alluvium being the chief exceptions; in its native localities it seems partial to the debris of primitive and metamorphic rocks, but is occasionally found growing luxuriantly on calcareous subsoils; in Switzerland it attains the largest size, and forms the best timber, on the northern declivities of the mountains; but in Scotland a southern aspect appears most favourable.
The soft limestone underlying this region is covered, in the uplands, with grey, sandy soils, which have a subsoil of loam; in the lowlands the surface soils are loams, the subsoils clays.
It might indeed have been thought that thorough drainage would be unnecessary, but it must be noted that porous subsoils or efficient drains do not act merely by carrying away stagnant water which would otherwise cool the earth, incrust the surface, and retard plant growth.