I took some brown yarn and wound a piece around the stem of each piece so I can attach them to the branches.
I also added on a skull and bones that I printed on a red piece of paper (though unfortunately they don't match). Again, a little hokey looking, but short of having artistic skill and spending a lot more time on the dozen apples, this is an easy fix.
Have now hung up the apples onto the tree. The apples ended up being a good match to the paper leaves.