In my last post, I mentioned that I did not paint the small tree I saw. The larger tree on the right did not "touch" the rock in real life. By extending the branches, the left side of the painting is connected to the right side.
Below I have an example of how it would look if the tree branches were not as long (modified in Paint Shop Pro.)
Rather than forming a fluid composition, it almost feels like two separate paintings to me. My eyes do not move through the painting. And in some ways, the truncated tree feels less natural though it is closer to reality.