If I'm reading your post right and you have had it for 5 years in that 4" pot, it could need repotting. Jades like to be a bit pot bound, but if they are going to grow at the top, they need some room down below, too. Also, leaves don't last forever. What you describe is the way a healthy jade loosed leaves. Is it growing
more from the top/ends of branches? How long has this been going on? Yes, a pic would be nice.