I just realized that I never use the Empire Tree Gui. Do you?
I know in theory that it's supposed to be like in SOASE, but in practice, I'm never in that much of a hurry to shuffle between 7-8 cities. Maybe on a ginormous map It'll be useful, but then you'll have a whole column of icon garbage to shuffle through, so I'm not sure it's that useful. Would you miss it if it wasn't there?
On a related note, the Turn Events that come down on the right of the screen are good. Once you mouse over them.
Putting a couple words next to them so you can just glance at them (Erisk was defeated, Janilund has built House, Fireball Spell Reseach Complete) instead of having mouse over each one would make them much much more useful. As they currently are they're just too easy to forget about and ignore.
Also make them stay around until I right click and dismiss them.