The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)
Very early in the history of the New Zealand Railways the advantages of tree planting and preservation, and the beautification of railway reserves was recognised by the Department, and in 1888 it was operating a tree nursery — actually about ten years before the Government commenced to operate its general forest nurseries.
The advantages of these early efforts in protective and amenity planting are seen to-day, particularly in the South Island, where, between Christchurch and Timaru, there are over 40 plantations on a total area of 450 acres and containing 158,000 trees. The plantations at Rolleston, Hinds, Winchester and Temuka are recognised as definitely improving the landscape.
In the North Island the railway plantations are less extensive, but some of them, notably at Papakura and Rotorua, and in various localities along the line in the Waikato district, provide a very attractive setting for the stations at which they are planted.
In 1903 the occupiers of Railway houses were circularised regarding the necessity for protecting trees planted around stations and on the land adjacent to these houses, and they were also advised as to the advantages of cultivating gardens on the house properties.