A branch can be attached to a PVC pipe and made to look like it is all natural. I my photo only the very top is actually a branch. The PVC starts about 6" above the skeleton's hand. The hand gives no support to the "branch". It is supported by being attached to the box.
The PVC was warped with a heat gun. I used a little Great Stuff to simulate some bark. I then painted everything to give the look I wanted.