Wow, this is an amazing critique! Although I have to say, I prefer the sky showing less. It makes the peice darker, drabber, and a bit more depressing to me. Then again, I might just be weird that way.
All these changes make sense, except for taking out the tree. I didn't think the tree was causing any problems, nor did it seem pointless to me at all. Burying a lost loved one beneath a tree is a classic literary element that never really gets old, IMO, so I'd leave that in. Everything else that's been altered is a nice improvement.
Just removing the tree really helped. My eye instantly went from her shoulder, at first glance, to her face. From the start of her tail over feels really empty. There is no more mountainous background and seemingly nothing between her tail and her back legs. All and all, the finished product was really good.