you started off my day with a laugh. Really i chuckled out loud.
It would be helpful to know a bit more information. How many images, what was the fstop spacing? I would expect more detail and information in the shadows for the first two images. the third one could be taken without using the technique of HDR and you would avoid the problem with the ghosting on the tree.
HDR is not going to help shooting directly into the sun as you did with the last shot. along with the sun flare the image is not sharp and holds less interest as one tends to following the watermark in the corner; which is the last thing one wants the viewer to pay any attention too.
With this said, we all have to start off someplace and it takes some practice and experience to get better at any technique; this one being no different , if not more difficult. Keep trying and practice , have fun and take everything we say with