Well, now we’re out of the “100 year old tree” category and into “The whole world was created last Tuesday” scenario.
Marking the ground with the reminder that I agree the appearances of age are usually those of age, the frequent use of “fake” in your description prejudges God’s motivations, and we are not God, as I think George’s reply re-emphasises.
Were I convinced, as I suppose Archbishop Ussher and the scientific intellectuals who praised the precision of his chronology were, that the evidence showed that God did create the world over one week in 4004, then I’d be likely to avoid asking the “why” question and follow Eli in saying “He is the Lord - he will do what seems right to him.” But if not, there would be many explanations possible consistent with the revealed character of God, because hardly anybody in Ussher’s world doubted that he did it that way.
What we have nowadays is an alternative, evolutionary old earth, scenario which makes more sense to us (if we’re not YECs). It’s therefore easy to say it must make more sense to God too - but, though we may talk about God’s character, we don’t know all the facts, or even God, that well.
If it’s OK to put weight on our assessment of what God ought to do in the case of trees, then it must also be OK to treat Jesus’s spitting on eyes as fiction because, we judge, it pictures Jesus as falsely imitating a fakir. We may claim knowledge of God’s ways in all areas, and that results in pretty well any spin we like.
For example, God would not fool us by making things look designed when they are not. Or the opposite (not uncommon) God would not things look undirected if they were designed. A loving God would not create carnivores, parasites, or colliding asteroids; God would not judge people because I know he’s all-forgiving; God would not knowingly let his Son die because I know he’s a loving Father; God would not do miracles because that would break his own laws; God would not allow the Babylonians to destroy his own Temple and tarnish his own Name… and any of these can be overturned in a moment when God says (as he says in revealed Scripture), “My ways are not your ways.”
My own particular version of that kind of argument, were I to lean on it more than I do, is that the whole character of God in the Bible is one of involvement with his world, guiding human decisions, governing history, caring for his people, preserving sparrows, sending or withdrawing his spirit from the wild creatutres, riding on the wings of the storm and so on. The Gospel increases that involvement by revealing the Son in whose image we are made, and who died for us, as the One by whom, through whom and for whom everything in the world was made and is sustained. On that reasoning, the idea that he would run the world via autonomous laws of nature set in stone at the Big Bang would be a non-starter.
But though that is entirely consistent with his revealed character (and more), it is not specifically revealed in Scripture, so perhaps those who say, like Leibniz, that it’s more praiseworthy for him to let the world run on its own, have a better understanding of God’s character. Whoever makes the better assessment of the inner life of God wins the argument… until God answers out of the whirlwind!
To summarise, I think that using our assessment of God’s character as evidence about empirical facts has a lousy track record, if a long pedigree.