At: www.fullbooks.com/Town-Geology2.html we find the following remarks in a book titled "Town Geology" by Charles Kingsley.
"If we find, as we may find in a hundred coal-pits, trees rooted as they grew, with their trunks either standing up through the coal, and
through the sandstone above the coal; their bark often remaining as coal while their inside is filled up with sandstone, has not our
common-sense a right to say -- The land on which they grew sank below
the water-line; the trees were killed; and the mud and sand which were brought down the streams enveloped their trunks? As for the inside being full of sandstone, have we not all seen hollow trees? Do we not all know that when a tree dies its wood decays first, its bark last? It is so, especially in the Tropics. There one may see huge dead trees with their bark seemingly sound, and their inside a mere cavern with touchwood at the bottom; into which caverns one used to peep with some caution. For though one might have found inside only a pair of toucans, or parrots, or a whole party of jolly little monkeys, one was quite as likely to find a poisonous snake four or five feet long, whose bite would have very certainly prevented me having the pleasure of writing this book."
Kingsley does certainly have a right to "say" that such trees "grew" on the spot were they were entombed; however, he goes one step further and "says" that this view makes "common-sense." But does it really? For example, with the trees in the tropics which he uses as an example, if one looks closely at such trees he or she will (more than likely) notice that they not only have attached roots, but also are growing upon a rich soil that is not laminated. That is because rich soils undergo what is called bioturbation. Bioturbation is caused by the growth of other plants and by burrowing insects, and which very often destroys laminations. In fact, this is one of the primary signs of a rich and mature soil.
However, the trees in the coals are very often entombed in highly laminated strata that is very often not indicative of mature soils but rather of sedimentary deposited strata. In addition, upon closer inspection it will be found that such trees are (more often than not) either missing their roots or that such roots are truncated. Therefore, it appears questionable at best that such trees are in their original positions of growth.