When we do the installation of the new bases, I'll talk about the mother*&%^$#@$! hard job it was to remove these cute little innocent looking pieces. Right now, I'll just show the samples. So, here are the two pieces that we removed, one on top the other, as they would be in situ:
The replacements will be made of cypress. I've done as much research as possible, and had three different recommendations from the millworkers who gave me quotes: red cedar, cypress and oak. There seem to be pros and cons to each. Cypress is softer, but it is said to have natural oils in it that help to guard in moist conditions. I don't know if its true that it is better in wet conditions because the tree grows in water. It's not a tree with roots and leaves anymore, so I honestly don't know if this claim is scientific fact or a myth. I'd appreciate any comments on this question.