In #24 of his Ridgeline newsletter, Craig Mod says:
It’s true — photographing the woods is tough. (Which is why vistas, views, lookouts are so readily photographed.) There’s just so much information packed into every square meter, and, on a sunny day, so much contrast. I find woods can only be reliably photographed on rainy days, mist abounding, giving shape and depth to the otherwise shapeless and boundless.
I’ve found this to be true as well. Out for a walk something catches my eye. It might be the light playing in the leaves. It might be how the colors of the forest shift in interesting ways as I’m taking in a scene. Whatever it is, it seems worthy of a photograph, but once the photograph is taken what I usually end up with is just a mass of trees.
HDR mode, as great as it is, is no match for the human eye connected to the human brain.