Yes, I think that limiting the scene to just a few trees allows the eye to better examine the interesting shapes of the trees and avoids some distraction. It is nice that you were able to re-visit that location promptly and try some other ways of photographing this subject. I think it can be a very rewarding area for you to photograph.
I tried a few simple modifications in Photoshop (I hope you don't mind) to see if the subject could be simplified a bit more. The principal changes were:
1. Cropped from the left to eliminate the bright area at the edge of the frame that seems to draw the eye out of the frame and cropped down from the top to eliminate some horizontal branches that are distracting.
2. Added a little cloud-like texture to the sky
3. Darkened the scene overall to increase the interest of shadows and add mood; and darkened a few bright spots that seemed to draw unwanted attention.
4. Blurred the foreground tree to draw the eye into the scene
5. Converted to black and white to simplify the overall effect and increase awareness of the shapes
I am intrigued by the tree that is in the center of the frame, in the distance between the two most prominent trees. I wonder what the shot would look like if you focused on that one and let the two foreground trees go out of focus.
I hope these few thoughts are helpful to you. Thanks for posting an interesting photo.