I have a plum tree that I inherited that's probably at least 20 years old that has patches of leaves that have been turning brown this summer and then eventually dry up and die. This is happening all over the tree and I'm afraid it may be dying. So I asked at a local nursery, showed them a photo of the trunk and leaves. Some say a plum tree usually only lives about 20 years and that it's "done", some say I had beetles (because there were a few little sap bubbles on the main trunk) and now I don't know what to believe! I was told to try to treat the beetle problem so I used a recommended pesticide that the roots spread to the rest of the tree but that I can't eat the fruit next year because it will be affected. Could the problem be that I gave it a pretty big pruning last winter because it hadn't been pruned in many many years, or could it be beetles or could it have lived it's full life and is now dying?
Any help would be greatly appreciated because I'm just now learning about how to care for a bunch of old growth trees that I've inherited.