A French company wants to transform the Eiffel Tower into the world's largest tree by covering the structure entirely with plants.

Ginger, an engineering company which specializes in ecological projects, is behind the scheme, estimated to be completed within two years. France's Le Figaro newspaper reported that Ginger had spent two years working on the 72-million-euro (96-million-dollar) project that would see 600,000 plants hung on the tower. However, French authorities denied planning any such proposal.

Ginger estimates that the plants would give off 84.2 tonnes of CO2 and absorb 87.8 tonnes, making Eiffel Tower carbon positive. A spokesman for Ginger said: The project was confidential but the schedule indicated by Le Figaro is right.

Following the leak in Le Figaro, the company that operates the tower, SETE, issued a statement saying neither it nor the Paris City Hall were associated with the proposal as laid out in the newspaper.

Nothing has been finalised, nothing has been studied. I had knowledge of this project along with many others, people suggest new ideas for the Eiffel Tower to me every day, said Jean-Bernard Bros, a city councillor whose job title is president of the Eiffel Tower.

The tower was built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel and was originally the entrance arch to that year's Universal Exposition, a world fair celebrating French engineering.